Al-Ahsa group seeks help for big number of disabled
Five percent of people in Al-Ahsa are disabled and need access to quality educational, health and rehabilitative services, according to a senior official from the Al-Ahsa Disabled Association.
Abullatif Al-Jaafari, director of the body, said this amounts to 75,000 people out of a population of 1.5 million. “We need a serious gesture to create a project that serves these people.”
The association carried out a survey that revealed there are 1,300 children with Down Syndrome, and 220 autistic children of both sexes who need help. “The vast majority of these children do not receive educational services that are provided by institutes or special programs.”
Al-Jaafari said the association is seeking to implement two special education and rehabilitation projects for these children.
“The projects will help in the early intervention phase to ensure parents receive guidance and advice. They will help children develop the behavioral and social skills to facilitate their integration into society. They will also provide direct services, and embrace them from birth until they qualify for jobs.”
The association, in collaboration with Saudi Aramco, launched this week a project entitled “Education and Recreation for Special Needs People” at the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center.
The project has a theater for entertainment, education lounge, computer hall, soccer field and gym.
The project consists of different sections that take into account the needs and privacy of people with special needs. The men’s section of the center has tents for entertainment and ceremonies.
The project has a gym, entertainment hall, playgrounds and external gardens. The women’s section at the center allows participants to get involved in more activities and events at the theater. There are also occupational therapy and recreational areas.
Abdullah Al-Massoud, director-general of the center, said this project is the first of its kind in Al-Ahsa. “It is an opportunity for a huge number of people with disabilities to exercise through physiotherapy.” There would also be the opportunity for special needs people to learn computer skills.
Essam Zine Al-Abidine, director-general of public affairs at Saudi Aramco, said that the project reflects the company’s interest in people with special needs. “Implementing this project is considered a radical addition to a number of current and future programs, as part of Saudi Aramco’s leading role in social partnership.”
“Saudi Aramco offers a variety of programs that evolve year after year, and include environmental, cultural, economic and social programs,” he said.