KUWAIT: The Kuwait Society for the Follow-up of Issues of Disabled People organized a seminar on ‘equality for disabled people’ presented by experts from the Equality Society for People with Disabilities in Jordan. The event was held on Wednesday at the Kharafi Theater for disabled children’s activities in Mishref. Adnan Aboudi, President of the Equality Society for People with Disabilities, said, “We hope that people with disabilities will have equal opportunities. Many people with disabilities are distinguished and talented and they deserve to be treated equally.” He added: “All of us are different – disability is a kind of difference. We cannot refuse to allow someone to work because they are different.”

KUWAIT: (From left) Moderator Abdulrahman Al-Azmi, Secretary of the Equality Society for People with Disabilities Inas Saleh and President of Equality Society for People with Disabilities Adnan Aboudi are seen during the seminar. — Photo by Yasser Al-Zayyat

Aboudi noted United Nations statistics indicate the importance of the category of people with disabilities in society, where the proportion of disabled people in the world has reached 15 percent, and their number has exceeded one billion people around the world (1 in 7). “Many people with disabilities do not have equal access to employment opportunities, do not receive disability-related services that they require, and experience exclusion from everyday life activities. Donating money to people with disabilities may not serve the handicapped. We must invest the money in rehabilitation, education, and training that improves their life, qualifies them and involves them in society,” he explained.

Aboudi affirmed that the equipment for involving people with disabilities is expensive – for example, a basketball chair costs $5,000. He expressed his pride in Kuwaiti sports teams, adding that the Kuwaiti teams are among the greatest teams with disabilities in most sports “As a disabled person, we want equality. When a person feels empathy, he or she may diminish and reduce the confidence of the person with a disability, and extra compliments do not make us feel better either,” she said.
Inas Saleh, Secretary of the Equality Society for People with Disabilities, gave a training course for the attendees, where she showed several pictures of people with disabilities and asked them what they can see or what is wrong in the picture. The attendees learned that the person and his disability equipment should be seen as a whole. “Me and my wheelchair are one. People must see us as a whole. People with disabilities also like to be heard and seen, so if you see a person with a companion, show respect and talk directly with the person with a disability and do not talk with the companion and ignore their presence,” Saleh said.

By Faten Omar