Tag Archives: Sharjah

Kaltham Obaid Bakheet: the infirmed filmmaker

Having had a car accident while driving back from Dibba, Oman in 1990, Kaltham Obaid Bakheet has made a video about the rehabilitation programmes offered in the United Arab Emirates that has helped her become a government employee for the Ministry of Health today.

The accident has been ‘a turning point in her life’ and it had made Bakheet realize the ‘long journey’ ahead of her. The short film also highlighted the importance of education and family values in society development as well as in how the road to success begins with one’s inner faith.

Recently, Bakheet has founded the Handicapped Guardians Association in Sharjah as well as the Association of Empowering Women with Disabilities in the UAE. She is also first deputy chairman of Al Thiqah Club for Handicapped, a city government office in Sharjah.

“No matter what the circumstances are, the journey to success starts with self-belief that I can accomplish any task. In spite of the ordeal I went through I still have a lot to do. I studied hard and accomplished a lot.” ~ Kaltham Obaid Bakheet

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the UAE Gov

Photo courtesy of the Khaleej Times

SPED for All

Special education (SPED) refers to classroom or private instruction involving techniques and exercises for persons with disabilities (PWDs) whose learning needs cannot be met by the standard school curriculum.

Its inclusion in the United States started after the Second World War. Then it was introduced in the Philippines by David Prescott Barrows, an American anthropologist who had established the Insular School for the Deaf and the Blind in Manila (later renamed as School for the Deaf and Blind).

In the United Arab Emirates, an agreement was signed with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in November 2006. There’s also the Federal Law 29/2006 that assures every PWD in the country, and the UAE Disability Act that promises its nationals with special needs of ‘the same rights to work and occupy public positions, special facilities at airport and hotels, access to public vehicles and parking, and equitable access and facilities into all new property development projects,” among others.

It also mandates both public and private schools to accept a child with special needs (SN) who wishes to enroll in them. There would be vocational and rehabilitation centers and every effort would be made to take in special needs students in mainstream educational settings.

One of its emirates, Abu Dhabi, has partnered with the New England Center for Children to establish a comprehensive education program in either English or Arabic. Its fourth largest city, Al Ain, has a sports club that could train PWDs for the Special Olympics.

I still think, though, that integrating SPED in the basic and secondary curriculum is necessary, beneficial, and practicable. I had hinted about that in my first post and mentioned it particularly in the introduction of this blog.

“I discovered early that the hardest thing to overcome is not a physical disability but the mental condition which it induces. The world, I found, has a way of taking a man pretty much at his own rating. If he permits his loss to make him embarrassed and apologetic, he will draw embarrassment from others. But if he gains his own respect, the respect of those around him comes easily.” ~ Alexander de Seversky


Video taken from the YouTube Channel of GreatSchools