Muscat: The Ministry of Social Development on Thursday launched the “Guide for Serving People with Disabilities”, which is aimed at meeting the needs of the disabled, their parents and people who attend to this segment of society. The guide comprises all the services offered by government, private and other public entities to mitigate life conditions for the disabled.
This launch took place during a ceremony organised by the ministry on the occasion of “International Day of Persons with Disabilities”, which falls on December 3 and is held this year under the theme of “Role of innovation in fueling an accessible and equitable world”.
The ceremony was held under the auspices of Dr Laila bint Ahmed al Najar, Minister of Social Development.
The ceremony included a visual display on the support provided by government and private companies to the disabled and the ministry’s future vision for this segment. This was followed by another presentation on success stories and experiences of persons with disabilities.
The Guide provides for the purchase of rehabilitation services from private centres, the issuance of car parking permits for people with disabilities, attending to medical conditions for citizens and residents, allocating a play area for children with disabilities and the procurement of prosthetic devices and different items of assistance.
The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation dedicates university scholarships to the disabled, while the Ministry of Labour exempts them from fees charged against recruitment of non-Omani manpower.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning exempts the disabled from the reassurance charged against government lands, whatever might be the nature of their use. It also excludes them from requirements of registration and documentation of legal actions by sending the Notary Public to the residence of the needy person with disability to implement this service, if the disabled’s condition requires such action.
The Ministry of Health provides treatment and rehabilitation services for people with disabilities, supplies them with prosthetics and orthotics, gives them access to the services offered by the “Hearing, Balance and Speech Unit” based at Al Nahda Hospital, as well as mental health services available at Al Masarra Hospital, and respiratory care services and auxiliary devices.
The Royal Oman Police (ROP) is processing provision to set up a service unit at the ROP Communication Centre to deal with calls from people with disabilities under the category of “Urgent” calls. The ROP will also take steps to remotely issue and renew identity cards for people with disabilities. It will provide wheelchairs for people with disabilities who visit its departments of Civil Status and Passports and Residency. It will also exempt people with disabilities from fees charged against registration, renewal and transfer of driving licences, one time in a year, provided the applicant’s monthly income does not exceed RO 350.
Oman Post Company exempts the authorities concerned from payment of fees for sending up to 7 kilogrammes of manuscripts and special materials sent to people with disabilities. It also cancels annual subscription fees more than once for this segment of society.
Oman National Transport Company (Mwasalat) grants free cards to people with visual impairments when they use the company's buses to travel between cities. It also provides buses equipped with special specifications to facilitate the transportation of people with disabilities.
Acting in cooperation with the ROP, Oman Association for Persons with Disabilities is embarked on providing special vehicles for people with physical disabilities.
Some private sector establishments offer discounts ranging from 10 to 50 per cent for people with disabilities. These include communication companies, insurance companies, health institutions, restaurants, beauty and fashion salons, to name a few.
The ceremony was attended by ministers, under-secretaries, a large gathering of people with disabilities and their parents and representatives of the public and private sectors. — ONA