Salalah: Everyone is born with unique skills. They need to be tapped, nurtured and followed up with proper guidance. Society has a special responsibility towards people with disabilities to find the best ways to deal with them.
As a mark of offering a helping hand and an outreach to the community, the University of Technology and Applied Sciences, Salalah, collaborated through a voluntary forum to serve people with disabilities in cooperation with the Al Wafa Social Care Center for the Disabled in the Governorate of Dhofar.
To impress upon the society that every member of it can emerge as a change agent, Muna al Nahdi, a staff member of the Students Services Centre, organised an event involving students to create awareness and spread the message of care for people with disabilities.
Commenting on the goal of the activity, Dr Jihad al Khalaf Bani Younis, Head of the Committee, said the first initial steps had been taken for this journey, aiming to shed light on the issue of disabilities and find the best ways to deal with them. "Using the participatory approach with all stakeholders, including Al-Wafa Social Center, we have a lot to do in the future," he added.
Mona Al Abd, the Director of the Al Wafa centre in the Governorate of Dhofar, shed light on the situation of disabled people in society.
"There had been a significant improvement in society's attitude towards these differently-abled people. As part of the event, the handicrafts prepared by disabled people were displayed in Salalah Hall. The work showcased various skills of disabled people, again confirming the need to give positive directions to their abilities and rehabilitate them.
Speaking about the Al Wafa centre, Mona mentioned that the organisation ensured specific training and rehabilitation programs creating paths for children to be in schools and vocational training for adults to make them self-reliant.
Regarding the facilities of the Salalah centre, she mentioned that the centre had education, speech, and occupational therapy specialists. Mona's prime message was about understanding the social and psychological aspects of dealing with people with disabilities.
Concerning the plans to spread awareness about disabilities and rehabilitation Dr Nawal Saleddin, HoD of the Mass Communication department and a committee member, said that the department would conduct campaigns and other related activities.
Dr Salem al Mashani, a faculty member, shared his extensive experience and the challenges of disability that he faced due to being visually impaired. He also mentioned his positive response to the disability, which encouraged the listeners to take the initiative in helping people with disabilities.
Photos: Vandana Jyotirmayee