People with disabilities deserve better treatmentIntegrating the handicapped into society [Archives:2003/686/Business & Economy]

November 17 2003

The handicapped of our society have the right to a better life and full integration, to gain their right to enjoy all that they are entitled to, without any hindrance. They can, as a social segment, contribute to the process of development.
The 1st Arab Regional Conference held in Sana’a lately stressed the importance of working for their full integration, and a better life as a serious step to reach a draft of a comprehensive world document which the United Nations adopts.
The Sana’a declaration produced by the conference pointed out that the proportion of disabled in Yemen is estimated at 10 per cent, and called for joining forces and efforts of government institutions and local and international non-governmental organizations for alleviation of psychological, social and physical damage the handicapped are suffering.
The declaration demanded the necessity that the handicapped should be provided with whatever they need to allow them to attain a better life.
The conference also recommended the necessity of completing legislation on rendering care for the handicapped and their rehabilitation, and holding symposiums and workshops on the comprehensive international agreement on protection of the handicapped, to be signed by the Yemeni government.
It asked that those activities should be attended by all bodies and establishments involved with care for the handicapped.
The conference also called for media programs for the handicapped, for a recommendation to civil society organizations to play a significant role in supporting the international agreement.
Regarding facilities, the conference stressed the necessity of counting government, commercial, social and investment institutions in order to define what the handicapped need.
The conference also called for commitment to world designs and specifications on creating buildings for the disabled, in addition to teaching the deaf signs to all students, including in the school curricula at both elementary and secondary stages.
The conference reviewed the handicapped traffic problems, demanding drawing up certain signs, especially audio and light signs.
It also asked for special lanes at crossroads and sidewalks and building artificial blocks ahead of those lanes.
The conference recommended the importance of benefiting from the internet in gathering and providing information related to the care and rehabilitation of the disabled.
The conference did not forget to call for providing necessary financial support for the media in the area of the handicapped integration, and from mosque preachers in spreading awareness on the handicapped right to better life.
The conference urged for offering free medication care to the handicapped, and issuing a health card enabling the handicapped to receive treatment at all health institutions, as well as creating a system for health insurance for the handicapped.