Rights of People with Disabilities

Within a framework of legality and equality, the Kingdom has taken it upon itself to preserve the rights of people with disabilities in a manner that ensures their dignified living and enhances the services provided to them. This includes, but is not limited to, providing them with appropriate means of prevention, care, and rehabilitation; these efforts have collectively developed a vast network of medical, psychological, social, educational, media-related, and legal provisions all aimed at the prevention and/or early detection of disabilities, as well as minimising their harmful effects. This system of provisions also includes a comprehensive care system for those who require it, based on factors such as their health status, the severity of the disability, and their professional background. This system also includes enhancing efforts towards providing people with disabilities with adequate medical care, social support, psychological support, and educational assistance, thereby aiding the person with disability to achieve the highest possible professional effectiveness, allowing them to more easily matriculate in society and become a productive, self-sufficient members of it.

Legislative framework:

  • The Basic Law of Saudi Arabia, the most important legal document in the Kingdom, states in Article 26: “The State shall protect human rights in accordance with the Islamic Shari’ah,” which encourage the elimination of prejudice and discrimination on any basis, including disability.   
  • Disability Law
  • The Authority for the Care of People with Disabilities
  • Basic Regulations for Persons with Disabilities Rehabilitation Programs
  • As part of the regulatory framework for the rights of people with disabilities, the rights of people with disabilities are covered, including: the healthcare system, system of  social services, labor system, system of criminal procedure, system of legal commencements, system of social security, retirement system, and system of communication.

Institutional framework:

There exist a number of governmental and civil society institutions which undertake the mission of safeguarding the rights of people with disabilities, including: 

  • Government entities:
    • The Authority for Care of People with Disabilities, established in 2018, aims to caring for persons with disabilities and ensuring their access to disability-related rights while simultaneously improving the services provided to them, thereby helping them to receive necessary care and rehabilitation. And raise the level of prevention and take the necessary action in coordination and cooperation with relevant bodies, and identify the roles of the organs in relation to the care of persons with disabilities.
    • The Human Rights Commission established in 2012 a Special Unit for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and employs people with disabilities as well as some activists in the field, to follow up the implementation of the provisions of the International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and to provide legal assistance to persons with disabilities. Human rights awareness.
  • Non-profit organizations:
    • The National Society for Human Rights in accordance with the international human rights regulations and charters. One of its contributions is to monitor violations of the rights of persons with disabilities and follow up their settlement with the competent authorities.
    • The King Salman Center for Disability Research aims to implement scientific research on persons with disabilities and to apply its results in the areas of disability and to develop programs to implement them.
    • The Association of Children with Disabilities, It has several branches in the Kingdom aims to help people with autism and their families.
    • Saudi Charitable Society for Autism and has several branches in the Kingdom aimed at helping people with autism and their families.
    • The Saudi Society for Hearing Disabilities, is working to establish programs to assist, rehabilitate and educate deaf people with disabilities by establishing rehabilitation and educational centers for them.
    • Ibsar Association, and works to provide technology for the visually impaired and their support and support.

Healthcare rights:

  • Regulations within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia state that people with disabilities, just as those without them, enjoy the highest degrees of healthcare without discirimination on the basis of disability; in addition, they are included in the Ministry of Health’s Patient Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. Among the regulations the Ministry of Health applies when treating cases of people with disabilities: 
  • Providing preventive and rehabilitative services, including preventive genetic counseling, conducting various laboratory tests and analyzes for early detection of diseases, and taking the necessary precautions.
  • Medical rehabilitation services such as physical and occupational therapy, prosthetic prostheses and prosthetic devices, and treatment of speech and hearing disorders 
  • Training the families of persons with disabilities on how to care of them.
  • A priority card for persons with disabilities to access health services easily and easily through the electronic registration system for obtaining facilitation cards.
  • Support offices to provide logistics services for persons with disabilities and older persons in health facilities.

Education rights:

Provide educational services to students with disabilities at all stages in a way that best suits their abilities and caters to their needs, as well as respecting the advanced capabilities of children with disabilities and their right to maintain their identity and facilitate the services provided to them with continuous improvement.

  • Exceptional Education:
    • Governmental Institutes of Disabilities "Intellectual Education - Al Noor for Blind People - Hope Institute for the Deaf", equipped according to needs, and offers the appropriate curricula taught by specialized teachers.
  • Integration Education:
    • Integrating students with disabilities in general educational schools and providing educational and rehabilitation support services that ensures that they do not fall behind their classmates academically.
    • Creating an educational environment in the integration schools and train their employees to achieve a healthy learning environment.
  • Higher Education:
    • Integrating students with disabilities into higher education institutions, and specializing grants to persons with disabilities in private universities, colleges and scholarship programs, the Ministry of Education is responsible for the tuition fees.

Employment Rights:

The legislation of the civil service in the Kingdom are general, since there are no legislation that excludes persons with disabilities from their employment rights and receiving equal salaries. However, to ensure the employment, encouragement and support of persons with disabilities,there are some legislation and measures that represents a legal framework:

  • Tawafuq Program:
    • The Human Resources Development Fund's Program “Tawafuq” for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities aims to support and empower job seekers with disabilities to be employed in the private sector.
  • Mowaamah

Facilitating Access: 

Respecting differences and accepting persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and human nature is an essential part of the facilitative arrangements, modifications and technicalities are made to create the physical environment, transportation, and public spaces according to the Universal Accessibility standards and requirements.

In transportation:

In government services:
The government agencies whose visit requires handling of personal documents sensitively, offers the delivery of their mobile services to the residence. The Civil Affairs through Taqdeer service issues and renew personal documents of the elderly, patients and persons with disabilities from their home. The Ministry of Justice through the mobile notarial offices provides its services without any additional charges.

Adequate standard of living:

The Kingdom guarantees citizens of all races and backgrounds, including persons with disabilities, the right to live a decent life on an equal basis with others without any discrimination in respect of their inherent dignity and to support their self-independence through the provision of medical aids, monthly income for those in need, home care, free complete treatment, rehabilitation, and social welfare, as well as providing a financial support for persons with disabilities projects, and the exemption of their equipment and instruments from customs duties, some of the facilitations provided to them are:

  • Housing Program:

Housing program grants persons with disabilities the priority access to housing support products and lands. As well as having the right to apply to the Real Estate Development Fund to grant concessional loans without interest in order to build their houses.

  • Forms of assistance
    • Education assistance:

Every regular student in special education institutes and programs is issued a monthly bonus throughout the year, that varies according to the educational stage, ranging from 300 to 450 riyals for the resident with his family or in the internal section, ranging from SR 90 to 180.

  • Assistance from rehabilitation entities:

Distribution of qualified rehabilitation devices for persons with disabilities who live outside the accommodation centers at a rate of three to four devices such as: wheelchairs, beds, crutches, air mattresses and others.

  • Assistance from rehabilitation programs:
    • A financial reward of SR400-800 per disabled person shall be paid monthly from the date of joining the rehabilitation program and will be increased if they have a family.
    • Graduates can receive a grant of SR 50,000 to start a business in the same field of their training.
  • Financial assistance:

Assistance is provided to people with disabilities and their family and are divided into four levels:

  • Simple disability, in the amount of SR 4000
  • Less-than-severe disability, in the amount of SR 8000
  • Severe disability, in the amount of SR 16,000
  • Extremely severe disability, in the amount of SR 20,000

Participation in decision-making:

Based on the principle of qualification in employment opportunities and equal opportunities, within international covenants and conventions, persons with disabilities have opportunities for being appointed to executive positions in the Kingdom depending on their qualification, some of the real-life examples are the people who have been appointed to the Council of Senior Scholars, the Shura Council and the Human Rights Council at various times and until now.

Related links:

Last Modified Date: 05/03/2020 - 12:02 PM Saudi Arabia Time
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