The sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Social Development, marked the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) on Monday.
The event was held under the auspices of H E Dr Mahad Said Ali Ba’owain, Minister of Labour, and in the presence of H E Laila bint Ahmed bin Awadh al Najar, Minister Social development.
Hamoud al Shabibi, director general of Persons with Disabilities Affairs, in a speech said, “The theme of this year’s IDPD is ‘Building Back Better: Towards a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World.’ It is due to the outbreak of the pandemic which has affected various aspects of people’s lives in general and persons with disabilities in particular as they are more vulnerable to being impacted by this virus owing to many social and environmental barriers.”
He added, “They are also vulnerable because of the closure of social and rehabilitative services and the failure to provide them with information in an easily accessible way. Besides the health conditions of severely and multi-disabled people who are also vulnerable to infection with the virus due to their weak immunity, they also face difficulty in terms of applying the necessary physical distancing.”
He said that the sultanate has taken a set of preventive measures at the national level to limit the spread of the virus among persons with disabilities, such as suspending schooling and rehabilitation programmes in governmental, and private rehabilitation centres, and translating awareness programmes and the official statements in sign language.
At the end of the ceremony, H E Dr Ba’owain honoured a few outstanding persons with disabilities for volunteering, sports, media, poetry, acting, and managing special projects, in addition to honouring retired people working in the field of disability.