"QUALITY

"QUALITY OF LIFE FOR PEOPLE WITH SEVERE AND MULTIPLE DISABILITIES".

Oct 16, 2021

Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS), in cooperation with the Hashemite University of Jordan, will organize the Virtual International Scientific Conference on March 8 and 9, 2022 under the title "Quality of Life for Persons with Severe and Multiple Disabilities".

Her Excellency Sheikha Jamila bint Muhammad Al Qasimi, Director General of SCHS, has confirmed that Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services pays great attention to the quality of life of persons with disabilities in general and persons with severe and multiple disabilities in particular. SCHS recruits all the means to achieve this. It hopes that this conference will be a good step on the right path.

She said, “The conference aims to raise awareness about the latest developments and medical, scientific, practical, educational and rehabilitative practices for people with severe and multiple disabilities. It will shed light on the most important issues and rights related to them. In addition, the conference will provide new knowledge; allow the exchanging of distinctive experiences, and proposing solutions to some issues and challenges. This contributes to improving the quality of life for people with severe and multiple disabilities and their families”.

“SCHS depend on its vision, mission and strategic objectives in organizing this conference. These objectives include following standards of excellence, quality and efficiency, adopting the foundations of equality and diversity, producing knowledge at the local and international levels. It also depend on its orientation to employ best practices for the benefit of people with disabilities and the society as a whole”.

The Director General of SCHS has stressed that people take the basic rights of inclusion, education, full participation, decision-making and self-determination for granted for persons with disabilities. However, achieving them for persons with severe and multiple disabilities faces many challenges around the world with different degrees. The challenges of diagnostics, interventions and the use of assistive technologies in the digital age continue. Professionals describe this as old problems with new challenges.

She explained that the definitions of multiple disabilities usually refer to the simultaneous presence of two or more disabilities, such as intellectual and visual impairments, or intellectual and motor disabilities. A combination that causes severe educational needs that educators cannot met in special education programs directed at each disability separately.

The Unified National Classification of Disabilities in the United Arab Emirates, issued in 2018, adds a very important reference when dealing with the category of Multiple Disabilities. It states, "Scientific references often associate multiple disabilities with severe disabilities due to the many difficulties that a person faces in daily life functions."

The prevalence of multiple disabilities is one or two out of 1000, according to the Comprehensive Guide to Disability Terms in its second edition, issued in 2017, by the Executive Office of the Council of Ministers of Labor and the Council of Ministers of Social Affairs in the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

The prevalence of severe intellectual disability is about 6 of 1000 according to the fifth Diagnostic Statistical Manual issued in 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association.

The number of people with severe and multiple disabilities who received services from Sharjah City for Humanitarian provided during the academic year 2020-2021 has reached (95) people.

Conference Themes

The conference has six different themes. The first is about (medical-therapeutic). It discusses therapeutic interventions for people with severe and multiple disabilities from the health-medical, kinetic, communicative, and nutritional aspects.

The second theme is about (education and rehabilitation). It will discuss the latest educational methods and curricula (best practices in the services provided), assessment methods and measurement methodologies used, vocational rehabilitation. In addition to rehabilitation programs to support the needs of adolescents and youth with severe and multiple disabilities. SCHS will use early intervention with children with severe and multiple disabilities. It will discuss creative aspects of people with severe and multiple disabilities and inclusion of students with multiple and severe disabilities.

The third theme will address supporting families psychologically, socially, financially, and recreationally for families of people with severe and multiple disabilities via counseling. In addition to the issue of family counseling for families of people with severe, multiple disabilities, and the psychological and social dimensions of families (brothers, mothers, fathers).

The fourth theme (rights and laws for people with disabilities) will present the most important international, regional and local laws that guarantee the rights of people with severe and multiple disabilities. In addition to rights related to academic fields, the right of expression and choice, and the right to recreation, entertainment and sports.

In the fifth theme (Assistive Technologies for people with severe and multiple disabilities), speakers will talk about assistive technologies and the technology used to develop the capabilities and skills of people with severe and multiple disabilities. It will explain the role of technology in improving the quality of life for people with severe and multiple disabilities and how professionals use technology in the educational and training process.

The sixth and final theme is about (controversial issues and recent trends). It will discuss issues of aging and living independently, the trans disciplinary working group, cases of exploitation, abuse and empowerment, self-determination and decision-making among people with severe and multiple disabilities.

The conference will take place virtually at the headquarters of the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services in the Emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, through the Zoom application and the feature of live broadcasting via YouTube on March 8-9, 2022 in both Arabic and English with interpretation provided. Participation is open to all segments of society via the live broadcast on YouTube, and via the Zoom link.



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