Recently, the Lebanese Capital Beirut has hosted Inclusion International for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) annual meeting in presence of Her Highness Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Director General of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) and Honoree President of Inclusion International MENA. Mr. Hashim Taqi, President of Inclusion International MENA, Ms. Mona Abdul Karim, Vice President for the Middle East Region, Ms. Salwa Malaf, Vice President for North Africa Region, and members of the Board of Directors participated in the meeting as well.
The meeting resulted in an important announcement. The organization is going to organize a summit for self-advocates in Sharjah at the beginning of the new academic year. Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services is currently making plans and programs for this event. In addition, the meeting has confirmed self-advocates demands of integrating persons with mental disability and their families into society.
As for education, self-advocates are demanding to integrate boys and girls with mental disability into classrooms with non-disabled students. As for grading, they demand that teachers grade them as their peers without discrimination of any kind.
As for housing institutions, self-advocates are demanding the closure of all these establishments without building new or similar ones. As for job placement, they are demanding real jobs with good salaries as well as accessibility requirements. Self-advocates also demand support, inclusion, appreciation, and integration for persons with mental disabilities into society.
The meeting has confirmed the importance of coordinating in order to organize training courses for parents and self-advocates about self-advocacy in member countries. In addition, the meeting has confirmed the importance of coordinating efforts in order to prepare for a visit from self-advocates’ Representative Ms. Sheikha Sultan to some countries to conduct workshops with self-advocates in each country.
Inclusion International is the international network of people with intellectual disabilities and their families advocating for the human rights of people with intellectual disabilities worldwide. For over fifty years Inclusion International has been committed to the promotion of these human rights and the organization now represents over 200 member federations in 115 countries throughout five regions including the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Asia Pacific.
Inclusion International MENA region was created in 2005 and registered in 2008 is a union of regional organizations, which all believe in its principles values and objectives, the welfare of persons with intellectual disability. Inclusion International MENA Region is a nonpolitical, none religious regional and grass root civil organization. It is a federation of organizations who believe in Inclusion International values, principles and believes which lead to secure enjoyment of people with intellectual disability in all the rights of their fellow citizens in addition to their special services.