AUD School of Education Assistant Professor Dr. Nadera Al Borno recently presented the Trends and challenges of the Employment of People with disabilities in the UAE, during a special educational needs panel at the Gulf Education Conference and Exhibition 2015, held under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development.
Dr. Al Borno’s presentation tackled a number of issues regarding the trends in employment opportunities available for people with disabilities and the challenges this entails. The main barriers to employment fall into three categories, legislation, rehabilitation and training, and awareness.
“Employment for people with disability has to move beyond legal compliance and take a more strategic approach of commitment and leadership from senior management. Legal compliance only perpetuates social stigma and low expectations,” urged Dr. Al Borno.
Dr. Al Borno concluded that the UAE legislation needed to be revised to become more binding to employers to provide career and development opportunities for women with disabilities; that rehabilitation and training programs need to be further developed to address the gap between the rehabilitation outcomes and the requirements of the employment market of a rapidly developing economy like the UAE; and finally that intensive awareness campaigns need to involve all community sectors including schools, higher education, parents and employers to target all types of discriminatory beliefs and behaviours against people and disabilities.
Dr. Al Borno’s participation in the conference and many others like it is helping to shape the future of education in the UAE. By meeting with other academics, government and private entities to discuss education in an open forum, AUD continues to contribute to the development of a knowledge-based society seeking equal progress.
Now in its fifth edition, the Gulf Education Conference and Exhibition showcases developments in education, highlighting the great innovations taking place in the world of academia. The event continues to provide a strong platform where international partnerships can be formed and an exchange of best practices, expertise and insight can be realized. Discussions at the conference served to guide the development of education in institutions and countries throughout the region.[i]