HH Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Board of Directors of Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs, witnessed yesterday the signing ceremony of the Abu Dhabi Disabled Classification Manual Agreement between the Organization and each of Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), Abu Dhabi Statistics Center (SCAD) and Abu Dhabi Health Authority (HAAD). He also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Organization and ADEC on the integration of its students in public education schools. The first agreement was signed for HAAD by HE Dr. Maha Tayseer Barakat, Director General of HAAD, for Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) by HE Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, Executive Director of Operations, and for SCAD HE Dr. Butti Ahmed Al Qubaisi, Director General, while Mr. Abdullah Abdul ‘Aaali Al-Humaidan, Board Member, Acting Secretary-General signed for ZHO. The second integration agreement was signed by HE Mohammed Salem Al Dhaheri, Executive Director of Operations, and Mr. Abdulla Abdul Al ‘Aali Al Humaidan, Acting Secretary General for ZHO. During the signature ceremony which took place within the events of “Goodness Iftar in the Year of Goodness” collective Iftar Party at Retz Carleton, HH Sheikh Khalid Bin Zayed Al Nahyan praised the support given to ZHO and its centers by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President and HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan,The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The signing of this agreement comes with the purpose of achieving ZHO’s lofty objectives along with the ambitions and desires of the leadership to the categories sponsored by the Organization. HH Sheikh Khalid Bin Zayed Al Nahyan also praised the outstanding and infinite support of His Highness Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President of the Executive Board for ZHO’s programs, initiatives and strategic projects to continue its march towards achieving its vision, mission and objectives of providing the highest quality and distinctive services to our disabled children. He stressed in a press statement on the importance of strategic partnerships that link the Organization with many local and federal government agencies and authorities. He also stressed on the role of these partnerships in the success and support of the initiatives and projects launched by the Organization, in order to achieve the sought main goal of social integration for its members from the “people of determination” category to be productive, contributors and influencer individuals in the renaissance march of our beloved country. HH Sheikh Khalid Bin Zayed Al Nahyan pointed out that the complementarity among official institutions has become necessary to achieve the highest goals of our wise leadership and achieve the social comprehensive development through investing and employing the energies of their members in all fields. The Memorandum of Understanding signed between the ZHO and those institutions, along with the agreement signed with the Abu Dhabi Education Council, will both open wide horizons. They will also provide valuable opportunities for the category of “People of Determination” to participate in building their communities and benefiting from the various programs and activities, in accordance with the best standards and practices. His Highness Sheikh Khalid Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said that the adoption of the Disabled Classification Manual, in coordination and cooperation between ZHO and its strategic partners, Abu Dhabi Health Authority, Abu Dhabi Education Council and Abu Dhabi Statistics Center, is an important qualitative step in the classification of these categories. Further, a plan of action and a road map for the development of all services provided to these categories, at the level of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. They are also very important for future scientific plans during the next phase. Abu Dhabi Disabled Classification ManualIt is the first of its kind in unifying standards and classifications. It was the fruit of cooperation and coordination between ZHo, ADEC, HAAD ,SCAD, and Zayed University. This Manual will have its positive effect on standardizing the disabled people at the level of all concerned institutions. It will also contribute to the preparation of a uniform census for this category within only the 13 sub-categories approved in the Manual. The purpose of implementing the Manual’s standards is to guarantee the rights stipulated in Federal Law No. 29/2006 as amended by Law No. 14/2009 on the rights of persons with disabilities for all categories listed in the Abu Dhabi 2016 Disabled Classification Manual. The Manual is considered as an approved reference for the classification of categories of persons with disabilities, their definitions, their subcategories, and the path of services for each category. It also aims at optimizing the possibilities and resources available to concerned parties in providing specialized services for persons with disabilities. The Manual achieves the complementarity among all official organizations in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and seeks to unify efforts towards empowering “People of Determination” within society. It also aims at creating a clear vision for the future of these categories in the Emirate and the provision of specialized and basic services for them. Further, it aims at adopting accurate and unified databases for these categories and creating a link among the concerned service providers. Moreover, the Manual aims at adopting standardized tools and criteria for assessment, diagnosis, screening, provided services, and the preparation of specialized studies and surveys in the field of disability. ZHO’s CommitmentsUnder the Agreement, Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care & Special Needs, is committed to using its approved tools and standards for the assessment, diagnosis, screening and care/ rehabilitation services for centers of persons with disabilities in the Emirate, in cooperation with concerned parties, in accordance with the service paths approved by the Manual. The Organization shall consult and hold meetings with concerned parties to identify the most important challenges and required areas of improvement during implementation. It shall update and develop the Manual on an annual basis in cooperation with concerned parties, based on the findings and recommendations of the Joint Committee, the outputs of the periodical meetings between the parties and the updates and directives of Abu Dhabi Plan. ZHO is also committed to preparing semi-annual reports and submitting them to the concerned authorities with the participation of all parties and the follow up for recommendations and observation. It is also committed to contributing to the preparation of specialized statistical studies and surveys in the field of disability based on the disability classifications recognized by the Manual. The Organization shall adopt categories of disability classification on its electronic information systems. Further, it shall adopt the names of categories of disability contained in the manual in all its transactions and decisions. ADEC’s CommitmentsADEC shall adopt the names of the categories for persons with disabilities contained in the manual in all its transactions and decisions. Further, it shall apply the service paths of such categories in accordance with the available capabilities. Moreover, it shall adopt the use of the names and terms/sub-terms included in the manual upon preparing the statistical studies and surveys related to disability. Furthermore, ADEC shall periodically review the Manual implementation procedures, submit recommendations and observations to the Joint Team, participate in the review, evaluation and development of the Manual from the educational point of view and shall prepare the relevant reports along with designing the improvement plans and contributing to their implementation. SCAD’s CommitmentsSCAD shall adopt the use of the names and terms/sub-terms included in the manual upon preparing the statistical studies and surveys related to disability. It shall also standardize the research fields and database that it will monitor, as well as preparing specialized statistical studies and surveys in the field of disability, based on the disability classifications approved by the Manual. Further, SCAD shall adopt an electronic system linking the databases of the participating agencies. HAAD’s CommitmentsHAAD shall report the persons with disabilities from birth to four years upon the availability of this information. Further, it shall use codified and universal tools and standards in the diagnosis and detection of disability, in cooperation with other parties. In addition, HAAD’s shall adopt the disability categories in accordance with its applied mechanisms. HAAD shall also perform a periodic review for the Manual implementation procedures and shall submit its recommendations and observations to the concerned authorities. It shall contribute to the preparation of specialized statistical studies and surveys in the field of disability. Joint CommitteeThe Agreement is valid for one year, effective after the final signing and renewable for other periods to be agreed by the parties. The Agreement provided for the formation of a joint committee consisting of 13 members, four members from the ZHO and 3 members from each of the other parties. The Joint Committee shall carry out some tasks and responsibilities, including the organizing of training workshops to introduce the manual and its use guidelines to the staff of the parties and the institutions associated with its procedures. Further, the Joint Committee shall hold periodic meetings at the beginning or end of each academic term or as needed. It shall prepare a strategic plan to implement the Manual at the Emirate level. The Joint Committee shall implement and follow up the provisions of the Agreement, as well as cooperating with the parties in the exchange of information in order to deepen the effective partnership relationship that may achieve the objectives of this Agreement. The Joint Committee shall launch a promotional campaign on the Manual, which shall include the definition of disability, categories, services, rights, duties, responsibilities and “Aounak Card”. Most of the relevant parties will participate in that campaign, in accordance with their respective procedures and objectives. The Joint Committee shall prepare semi-annual and annual unified periodic reports issued by the four parties in their respective areas of specialization, to ensure work complementarity under this Agreement. Such reports shall be submitted to the leaders of the parties for their views and approval. Memorandum of Understanding with Abu Dhabi Education CouncilThe Memorandum of Understanding signed between Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care & Special Needs and the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), effective as on the date of signing by the two parties, aims at enabling strategic links and partnerships between the two parties. In addition, it aims at coordinating their efforts to provide integration services for students with disability and to enable them to meet the challenges and changes in the fields of education. The MOU aims at enabling the students of these categories to achieve self-realization and exploit their maximum abilities, while giving them the opportunity for active social participation. The MOU also aims at laying down the basic principles of joint action between the two parties in a cooperative manner ensuring the existence of a unified, clear and responsive integration leadership. It also aims at demonstrating the financial, administrative and organizational commitment to integration through performing individual roles and responsibilities, as well as giving as equal opportunities for students with disabilities as to their peers, in order to benefit from educational programs, care, training and employment vacancies provided by the parties. Under the agreement, a joint committee between the two parties shall be formed, to carry out the following tasks: to provide advice and guidance, to conduct integration actions, to assist in solving strategic issues at the level of strategy, security and risks, to accept or decline any proposed changes, and to hold periodic meetings (at least once per month) to review what has been achieved, and to discuss reports and results from all parties and the extent of joint cooperation agreed between the parties. ADEC’s Assignments Under the AgreementADEC shall admit and register students with disabilities pursuant to its respective admission and registration policy for persons of these categories. It shall manage the pre-transfer process from ADEC to ZHO for those students who face academic or social problems. ADEC shall perform internal transfer procedures for integrated students at (First, second & third episodes), adult education (morning, evening, and home) and submit relevant report to the Organization. Continuous follow-upThe Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) shall continuously follow up students in general education schools and shall provide all the needs of those integrated students, in accordance with the report of the transitional plan which determines the total support needs whether they are internal or external services (academic, therapeutic, emotional, behavioral, sensory,… etc.). ADEC shall ensure the continuity of the implementation of the individual educational plan for students with disabilities, shall review its outputs, and shall ensure its transfer with the student in all stages of education if needed. Integration TeamADEC shall facilitate the access to schools to ZHO’s integration team to provide the required support agreed by the two parties. ADEC shall also adhere its work tasks and assignments and shall participate with ZHO in providing Braille printing services for the blind, including (worksheets, teaching aids, books and all other required items as needed).It shall provide electronic versions of texts to facilitate the printing process in Braille, and provide ZHO with the educational curricula available at its premises. Tools And Auxiliary DevicesADEC shall also provide auxiliary tools and devices, to all categories of persons with disabilities that may their abilities and needs. Further, it shall provide the necessary human resources working in the field of special education to support these categories. It shall provide appropriate transportation for students and apply the facilitated environmental amendments on pursuance of the needs of persons with disabilities and the recommendations of the Joint Committee. ADEC shall coordinate the reception of social integration candidates in terms of providing the spatial environment and follow-up the applicable programs and activities, provided that shall not exceed one month from the beginning of the school year. ADEC may decline the social integration if it is unable to provide the appropriate place for the social integration of students. The Tasks Of "ZHO" In The Memorandum Of UnderstandingZHO shall admit and register students with disabilities pursuant the Manual and its respective admission and registration policy for persons of these categories. ZHO commits shall manage the student’s pre-transfer process from ZHO to ADEC. It shall develop the academic education system in its centers of care and rehabilitation, in line with the outputs of the education system applicable at ADEC’s education schools. Overall AssessmentZHO shall conduct an overall diagnostic assessment for all students with disabilities nominated for integration into schools. It shall identify their educational, social, and therapeutic needs by issuing an overall assessment report, within no more than six months from integration date. ZHO shall be responsible for preparing the cumulative file for all candidates of integration, which file shall include individual educational, behavioral and therapeutic plans for the previous three months and another three subsequent months. Students’ parents shall submit written undertakings of their consent to the integration and their commitment to comply with all integration procedures, regulations and requirements applicable by the public education authorities. Reverse IntegrationZHO shall undertake the task of conducting diagnostic assessment for students enrolled in schools according to an official letter, from the Joint Committee, clarifying the type of application along with providing the cumulative educational file for the student. ZHO’s centers of care and rehabilitation shall admit students with learning disabilities from ADEC schools (Reverse Integration) as per the categories defined by the disability classification manual, in accordance with specific procedures and criteria agreed by the parties. ZHO shall provide support and periodic follow-up by its integration team to the newly admitted students. The continuity of follow-up and support depends on the completion of a full academic year, and this shall be documented in the report of the student's transition plan prepared later by the parties. However, the integration team may extended the follow-up and support period for some students for more than one year, as per their needs and in accordance with ZHO’s policy, procedures and criteria to be agreed by the parties. Such extension shall be determined by the joint committee and the Head of Sector’s and shall be documented in the student’s individual educational plan. Braille PrintingZHO shall provide Braille printing service for blind students integrated into schools, and shall participate in the provision of specialists to ADEC such as: (signal interpreter, specialist in Braille, …etc), when needed and in accordance with ZHO’s capabilities. Furthermore, ZHO shall provide all the necessary support services needed for the social integration of students. Iftar PartyHis Eminence/Sheikh Osama bin Saeed Al-Hasani Al-Maliki, one of the virtuous guests of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan, the President of the UAE, delivered a religious lecture to the audience at the "Goodness Iftar in the Year of Goodness" even. The lecture was entitled "Making good is one of the greatest purposes of Islam". The lecture came within the memorandum of understanding signing ceremony, in which he talked about the virtue of the holy month of Ramadan and fasting as one of the pillars of Islam. The audience said amen to the His Eminence’s prayer that Allah may protect the UAE from all evils and sins, bestow it with the blessings of security and stability, and preserve its leadership at the top of which is Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan , the UAE President. His Eminence also supplicated to Allah that He may bestow His Mercy and Forgiveness on late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan. The ceremony was also attended by HE Dr. Mugheer Al Kheyaili, Chairman of the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi, HE Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Education Council, HE Owaida Morshed Al Marar, Head of Municipalities and Transport Affairs Department. There also attended some of ZHO’s Board of Directors members, including HE Mubarak Al Shamsi, HE Rashid Ateej Al Hamli, Dr. Khalid Al Jabri, Mr. Talal Al Hashemi, in addition to a number of representatives of the participating organizations and leaders of the Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care & Special Needs.