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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is taking a unique approach to disability inclusion. Instead of using terms that focus on limitations, they refer to people with disabilities as “People of Determination” (POD). This term reflects the UAE’s commitment to inclusivity and support for all members of society, regardless of their abilities.

The UAE has made significant strides in providing resources and opportunities for POD to ensure that they are able to fully participate in all aspects of life. The UAE government is committed to providing them with access to education, employment opportunities, and healthcare services.

At Shuraa, we celebrate the diversity and determination of all individuals in the UAE. So let us understand how the UAE is empowering People of Determination, their rights, the availability benefits & of the POD cards, and more.

Who Exactly are People of Determination in the UAE?

The term “People of Determination” in the UAE is used to refer to individuals with disabilities. This terminology is a move away from labelling people with their disability and instead focuses on their potential and achievements. POD includes a wide range of people with disabilities, including: 

  • Physical disabilities
  • Sensory disabilities (visual or hearing impairments)
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mental health conditions

The UAE is actively working on becoming more inclusive and supportive towards People of Determination through several initiatives. Here are some examples: 

1. Legislation

The UAE has passed laws that protect the rights of People of Determination. These laws also mandate accessibility standards in areas like buildings, transportation, and public services. 

2. Infrastructure

The UAE is investing in infrastructure that is accessible to POD. This includes ramps, elevators with Braille buttons, and accessible restrooms in buildings. 

3. Services

The UAE provides a range of services to support People of Determination. These services include education, healthcare, and employment opportunities. 

4. Awareness

The UAE is raising awareness about disabilities and promoting the inclusion of People of Determination in all aspects of society.

UAE Federal Law for People of Determination

The UAE Federal Law for People of Determination, officially called Federal Law No. 29 of 2006 Concerning the Rights of People with Special Needs, works to ensure people with disabilities, referred to as “People of Determination” in the UAE, have their rights protected and are included in society. This law emphasizes providing them with equal access to services and opportunities across various aspects of life.

Key Provisions and Protections

1. Equality and Non-discrimination 

People of Determination in the UAE have the same rights as others and cannot be discriminated against due to their disabilities. 

2. Accessibility 

The law mandates creating an accessible environment in public buildings, transportation, and services. 

3. Education 

People of Determination have the right to inclusive education, meaning they should be able to access education alongside their peers whenever possible. 

4. Employment 

The law prohibits discrimination in employment based on disability and encourages creating opportunities for People of Determination in the workforce. 

5. Healthcare 

People of Determination have the right to quality healthcare services that cater to their specific needs. 

6. Social Services 

The law ensures access to social services and support programs that can improve their quality of life. 

7. Legal Assistance 

The government is obligated to provide legal aid to People of Determination in cases where their freedoms are restricted. 

The POD Card in the UAE

The People of Determination (POD) Card is an official identification document issued by the Ministry of Community Development (MOCD) in the UAE. It serves as proof that the cardholder is a Person of Determination and is entitled to the rights and benefits outlined in the UAE’s Federal Law No. 29 of 2006 Concerning the Rights of People with Special Needs. 

Eligibility:

  • You must be a UAE citizen or resident. 
  • You need a diagnosis of a disability from a recognized medical or psychological authority approved by the relevant government department. 
  • This diagnosis should specify the type and severity of the disability, along with any assistive devices required. 

Benefits of Having a POD Card

The POD Card offers various benefits to People of Determination in the UAE. Here are some key advantages: 

1. Access to Services and Discounts

The POD Card grants access to a range of government services and programs specifically designed to support People of Determination. In some cases, it may also unlock discounts on fees, utilities, transportation, and even entertainment options offered by participating entities. 

2. Simplified Procedures

The card can streamline procedures when applying for government services or benefits. 

3. Priority Consideration

In some cases, POD Card holders may be eligible for priority consideration when using public services or applying for programs. 

How To Get a POD Card in the UAE?

1. Gather documents

You’ll need a copy of your Emirates ID (both sides), a passport-sized photo, and the medical/psychological report. 

2. Choose your channel 

Ministry of Community Development (MOCD) website has an online application portal. If you reside in Abu Dhabi, you can apply through the TAMM app, a government services app. 

Each emirate might have its own Community Development Authority that handles POD Card applications in person. 

3. Submit your application

Once you’ve chosen your channel, follow the instructions to submit your application and the required documents. 

4. Approval and Issuance

The authorities will review your application and medical report. If approved, you’ll receive a notification and have the option to download a digital POD Card or request a physical card for a fee. 

Shuraa Welcomes All on the Path to Success

The future of inclusion for People of Determination in the UAE is bright and promising. With ongoing efforts to create a more inclusive society and provide equal opportunities for all individuals, we can look forward to a more diverse and accepting community.

At Shuraa Business Setup, we strongly support this vision of inclusion. We believe that every individual, regardless of ability, has the right to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. That’s why we’re committed to creating an environment that welcomes and supports all.

We don’t see limitations, we see potential. We are here to empower POD and all aspiring entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. So, if you have a brilliant business idea, don’t let anything hold you back. Shuraa is here to guide you every step of the way.

Together, let’s build a more inclusive and prosperous future for all in the UAE.

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