King Khalid University
The university's Special Needs Center organized the International Disability Recognition Day on the 25th of Rabīʿ Al-Awwal. Vice Rector of Academic Affairs, Dr. Saad Du'ajim, presided over the event on behalf of His Excellency Rector Al-Solamy. The program was appropriately titled 'Empowering Those With Special Needs'. The purpose of this program is to raise awareness and showcase the capabilities of special needs individuals within the Kingdom.
At the commencement of the program, Vice Rector Du'ajim, accompanied a group of senior university leaders, toured the program exhibition booths. Exhibitors included:
- Ibn Rushd Optical Center;
- The Department of Special Education;
- The Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences in Abha;
- The Asiri Adult Disability Association (Azim);
- The Saudi Special Education Association (Jaster);
- The City Center for Hearing Impairment Organizations;
- The Ambassadors Club;
- The Special Needs Center.
Vice Rector of Academic Development and Quality, Dr. Merzin Al-Shahrani, reiterated that the university is fully committed to serving and developing students and community members with special needs. As part of this effort, the university will constantly improve its physical resources for accessibility and find new and innovative ways of helping special needs students achieve all of their potentials.
Vice Rector Du'ajim: 'It is both a duty and honor to provide those with special needs the best educational environment possible'.
The program included a film that discussed the role and services provided by the Special Needs Center. The film also reviewed the various means of communication the university utilizes to effectively communicate with its special needs community. In his address to the audience, the Vice Rector of Student Affairs confirmed that this will be an annual event. The underlying purposes will be to continually raise awareness of and empower those citizens in the special needs community. He noted that societal inclusiveness is a fundamental objective of Vision 2030 and development of people of all capabilities is a moral imperative of our advanced society.
Vice Rector Du'ajim recognized and thanked all of the college deans and vice deans supporting the effort. He called upon everyone to take an active role in empowering those with special needs. After, the guest of honor, Saudi Shoura Council Representative, Dr. Nasser bin Ali Al-Mousa, thanked the university for its efforts and attention. He added that our nation rightfully devotes great efforts towards serving those with special needs. This is evidenced by the recent creation of the King Salman Disability Research Center that collaborates with the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to confer an award recognizing development efforts towards those with special needs. Al-Mousa emphasized the evolving nature of human development concepts and the critical role of special needs citizens in the economy.
Special Needs Center Supervisor, Dr. Ameri Ali Jafar, thanked Vice Rector Du'ajim for sponsoring the ceremony. 'Our goal this year is to implement policies and procedures that will enhance inclusion and equality of people with disabilities', said Jafar. Immediately after, there was a symposium in which three main topics were discussed: The role of community institutions in serving special needs, the empowerment of persons with disabilities, and legislation/regulation for people with disabilities.
At the end of the event, the organizing committee and the special guests who participated in the program were honored. It is also worth mentioning that a similar event was held contemporaneously on the female campus so that everyone regardless of gender or disability could participate.