Rights of People with Disabilities
Dedicated to providing a decent life for all citizens and residents, this section highlights the efforts and interests of the Kingdom in preserving the rights of people with disabilities, ensuring that they are able to lead dignified lives by enhancing the services provided to them. This section emphasizes the legal framework related to the basic law of governance, protection from harm, social care, rehabilitation centers, health care and equality in education for people with disabilities. Additionally, it also highlights employment initiatives, mobility and transportation, facilities and parking, sign language support, housing and mobile services dedicated to people with disabilities, while also addressing their ability to participate in decision making processes and information about the King Salman Award for Disability Research.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's government is concerned with providing a decent life for all its citizens and residents, considering different groups' needs. People with disabilities are among the most important of these groups. Disability means any person who has a complete or partial deficiency in a stable manner. This deficiency can be in the physical, sensory, mental, communicative, educational, or psychological capabilities. It can reach an extent that reduces the possibility of meeting the normal needs compared to others without disabilities. A disability can be one or more of the following disabilities:
- Visual impairment
- Hearing impairment
- Mental disability
- Physical and motor impairment
- Learning difficulties
- Speech and speech disorders
- Behavioral and emotional disorders
- Double and multiple disabilities
- Other disabilities require special care
The Kingdom has taken care of people with disabilities to ensure their access to their rights related to their disability. It enhances the services provided to them by providing the necessary prevention, care, and rehabilitation methods. It worked to build a prevention wall through a set of medical, psychological, social, educational, and informational measurements. These methods aimed to prevent, reduce, and detect early stages of disability to minimizing its effects.
The Kingdom ensured the comprehensive care services provided to everyone in need of care by virtue of the health status, degree of disability, and social status. The Kingdom contributed to facilitating medical, social, psychological, educational, and professional services to help people with disabilities achieve the maximum possible degree of functional effectiveness to comply with the normal environment and social life requirements. The aim is to develop particular abilities without depending on others to make them productive members of society.
The Basic Law of Governance, which is the most important constitutional document in the Kingdom, stated in Article 26 that "the Kingdom shall protect human rights in accordance with Islamic law," which reinforces the concepts of justice, equality and prohibits discrimination on any basis, including disability. Among the most prominent organizations:
- Disabled care system.
- Organizing the Care Authority for People with Disabilities.
- The basic regulations of rehabilitation programs for persons with disabilities.
The legal frame of rights for people with disabilities includes what is regulated in the relevant regulations that take into account the disabled. Many systems fall under this frame, such as:
- Health system
- Civil service system
- Work system
- Disciplinary procedures system
- Legal pleading system
- Social insurance system
- Pension system
Protection from harm
The Kingdom guarantees protection from various kinds of harm to people with disabilities by providing assistance and treatment. It works to provide necessary shelter, social, psychological, and health care. It shall also take the necessary legal measures to hold the perpetrators accountable and punish them. It is keen to spread awareness among community members about the concept of victimization and its implications. It works to address behavioral phenomena in society that indicate an appropriate environment for abuse cases, then find scientific and applied mechanisms to deal with abuse.
The Kingdom takes into account the material and moral needs of people with disabilities and their families. It seeks to provide them with a comfortable life by meeting these needs, and the Kingdom has allocated many social care services:
An electronic service that enables people with disabilities who are registered with the Ministry and whose disability has been assessed to apply for a monthly financial aid according to the conditions and controls, namely:
- That the beneficiary must be registered with the Ministry, and the disability has been assessed.
- That the disability is classified in the financial aid program for people with disabilities.
- That the total monthly income of the beneficiary does not exceed 4000 riyals.
- That the beneficiary must not exceed six months during the year regarding the expenses of government facilities for health or rehabilitation.
- That the beneficiary must be a permanent resident of the Kingdom.
- That the beneficiary should not be one of the beneficiaries of the accommodation services at the Ministry's centers.
- That the age of the beneficiary at the time of the disability occurrence should not exceed 45 years.
Service of assessing the disability
The service of assessing the disability is an electronic facility. It enables people with disabilities to register their data, update their status, and request benefits. The service cultivates the data of people with disabilities to make them recognized beneficiaries in the Ministry. To benefit from this service, you can visit this page.
Service of requesting financial aid for specific medical devices
An electronic service that enables persons with disabilities registered with the Ministry and whose disability has been assessed to apply for financial aid for special medical devices for people with disabilities according to the conditions and controls.
To benefit from this service, you can visit this page.
Social rehabilitation centers
It is a type of center for the care and rehabilitation of people with disabilities. It includes sections for professional rehabilitation, sections for social rehabilitation, and sections for the most severe disabilities. These centers were created to collect rehabilitation services in one unit that provides its services from one source and under one administration's supervision for all groups of people with disabilities. This center offers all benefits within the social rehabilitation centers and professional rehabilitation centers combined using the same previous admission requirements and terms.
Professional rehabilitation centers
These centers specialized in rehabilitating the physical, sensory, or mental disability to be an employee in a suitable environment for them. It helps them to be productive individuals who interact with the rest of society. There are one center and 13 professional rehabilitation departments in the Kingdom.
The centers are concerned with providing various services and programs for people with disabilities and their families during specific periods of the day. It provides programs according to each case and thoughtful individual plans.
Daycare centers provide appropriate care and rehabilitation programs for people with disabilities during daylight hours, including physical and occupational therapy, training in various life skills, as well as providing intensive family education and counseling programs. These centers were established to be one of the alternatives to institutional care. They were set during daylight hours to relieve the burden on some families who are unable to provide adequate care for their children during this time or workers who are unable to provide care for their children during official working hours.
Home health care
The Kingdom provides home health care services for people with disabilities and senior older adults who meet the conditions. They can apply for this service electronically through the Human Resources and Social Development website.
Specialized centers in treating and rehabilitating for people with disabilities:
- Medical Rehabilitation Hospital at King Fahd Medical City in Riyadh.
- Medical Rehabilitation Hospital in Medina.
- Medical Rehabilitation Center at King Khalid Hospital in Hail.
- The Medical Rehabilitation Center at Al-Qunfudhah Hospital.
- Medical Rehabilitation Center at King Faisal Hospital in Taif.
- Medical Rehabilitation Center at King Fahd Hospital in Hofuf.
- Medical Rehabilitation Center at Qurayyat General Hospital.
- The Medical Rehabilitation Center in King Saud Medical City in Riyadh.
- The Medical Rehabilitation Center at King Khalid General Hospital in Hafar Al-Batin Governorate.
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.
- Support offices to provide logistics services for persons with disabilities and older persons in health facilities.
The priority card is designed for people with disabilities, and it aims to easily obtain health services through the electronic registration system to obtain facilitation cards.
Precaution procedures to prevent COVID-19 (sign language)
Equality in education for people with disabilities
The Kingdom has taken upon itself to provide opportunities for a decent life for all its citizens alike, including education. Since the Kingdome believes in the importance of equal educational opportunities between ordinary children and children with special needs, it has provided educational services that suit these children's needs. Specialized institutes have provided them with cases that need special attention and care. Also, it has provided opportunities for inclusive education for children with disabilities along with ordinary children, so that everyone can accept the difference in abilities between them.
There are many governmental institutes for various disabilities, such as Institutes of Intellectual Education, Institutes of Visual Impairment, Institutes of Hearing Impairment. These institutes are equipped according to needs to provide compatible curricula with disabled students through specialized teachers and provide rehabilitation services to different groups of people with disabilities.
This program includes students with disabilities in general education schools. It provides supportive educational and rehabilitation services that ensure that they go along with their peers in different classrooms, such as (learning difficulties - behavioral disorders and autism). The Ministry of Education is keen to create an educational environment in integration schools and train its staff to obtain a healthy educational environment suitable for students with disabilities.
The General Education Agency also allocates a department called the Support Services Department, a department affiliated with the General Administration of Special Education. The Support Services Department gains particular importance among special education departments because it is related to all departments and provides its services to all groups of people with special educational needs at the Kingdom level. The department prepares plans, reports, and theoretical strategies to follow-up on their application in the field. It supervises measurement, diagnosis, and inventory of needs (teachers of behavioral training and measures used in the field). Also, it prepares five-year plans and annual reports for the administration and encourages studies, research, and awareness in the field of special education and support services.
The general objective is to raise the level of support services provided to people with disabilities. It is to enable them to depend on themselves and make them productive members of society and compatible with their environment.
A free grant offered by the Ministry of Education for special education schools and private special education programs for the following stages of education: Primary, Secondary, Intermediate and Kindergarten in accordance with specific standards and requirements.
A project dedicated to empowering all children with disabilities to obtain suitable education and job opportunities aimed at promoting their independence and contribution as active participants in society, while providing them with all the necessary tools and facilities to assist in their success. This project includes the National Transformation Program, launched in alignment with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative and the objective to develop the education sector including the development of special education services that support and develop services provided in special education sectors in accordance with the most recent international practices.
An e-service provided by the Ministry Of Education, which enables parents and school leaders to enroll students with disabilities through this service, in implementation of the equality in education principle.
Equality in higher education for people with disabilities
The Ministry of Education seeks to provide the best programs and facilities for university students with disabilities. It offered a qualifying year program, the first of its kind in the Arab world. Universities also allocate specialized committees such as the Academic Committee, the Curriculum Committee, the Support Services Committee, and others. These committees have worked to define several criteria and conditions for nominating those admitted to Saudi universities, based on the importance of the programs for people with disabilities as a house of expertise and a scientific reference In the field of education, training, and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities and those working with them. Among the most critical facilities and services provided to people with disabilities in Saudi universities are:
Such as providing adequate lighting, organized classrooms that do not hinder movement, suitable seats for male and female students in the classrooms, and alternative places such as providing a room free of distractions or testing them individually.
Information presentation method: such as providing presentations that contain pictures and videos, to help clarify information for male and female students with learning difficulties or hard of hearing during the lecture, and enable them to record lectures, and increase the time in presenting some information, in addition to providing a writer for the students. They have trouble writing to take important notes in the lecture, as well as providing a sign language interpreter for the hearing impaired.
It contains a to-do list and a temporary alarm to manage time and teach the student strategies for organizing information such as mind maps and visual notation.
The method contains developed assessments for students with disabilities. The process adapts methods that are commensurate with the skills of students with disabilities. It creates procedures that can be repeated in a way that achieves the most positive results. So, the questions can be read to them, or the test is oral, in addition to using Braille for blind students. Among the most prominent programs that universities allocate for students with special needs are:
This qualifying year aims to strengthen the deaf and hard of hearing students' linguistic aspects before their enrollment in higher education programs while providing support services of all kinds inside and outside the lecture halls. It is also working to create a transition from the secondary education environment to the higher education environment.
It is a program offered by King Saud University that aims to raise the university's efficiency in supporting individuals with disabilities by adhering to international standards in overcoming any architectural or technical obstacles to ensure participation and support the transformation towards a university available to all.
Princess Noura Bint Abdulrahman University offered a program concerned with the educational development of pupils with special educational needs, such as physical and functional therapy, correcting speech and speech defects, and psychological counseling services.
Employment initiatives for people with disabilities
The origin of civil service legislation in the Kingdom is general, as no legislation excludes people with disabilities from the right to public employment and receives a salary equal to that of others. Still, it should ensure the employment of people with disabilities encourage and support them; there were some legislations and measures that represent a legal framework for that:
The "Tawafuq" Employment Program for People with Disabilities of the Human Resources Development Fund aims to support and empower the workforce of people with disabilities to work in the private sector.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development Licensing System for Disabled Work Environments "Mowaamah" aims to create a safe and supportive work environment for people with disabilities by adopting the best standards and practices in this field.
Mobility and transportation for people with disabilities
Cars for the disabled
The Kingdom grants people with disabilities and their families who meet the conditions an amount of 150,000 riyals in place of insuring the disabled car. You can see more on this page.
An exemption from visa fees
It is an electronic service through which people with disabilities who are registered with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development and who have been evaluated can request to obtain a letter of support to exempt visa fees for them according to the conditions and controls. The service can be accessed through this page.
A reduction card for passenger fee
A digital card can be issued to reduce the passenger fees for Saudi people with disabilities and their companions through this page. This card provides a 50% discount on government transportation, according to the set terms and conditions.
Traffic facilities card
A traffic facilities card for people with disabilities can be issued through this page. This card enables them to enter public utility parking lots and park in the car parks designated for them without restrictions throughout the Kingdom electronically.
Access facilities and parking
The King Salman Center for Disability Research has adopted the comprehensive access program. The preparation of the necessary manuals and regulations to prepare the built environment and schedule transportation and public places to facilitate people with disabilities. Those are the evidence:
- The guidebook for comprehensive access inland transportation: This guide was developed based on accepted international standards and practices that included facilities and buildings. This guide is aimed at planners, engineers, as well as decision-makers in this sector.
- The guidebook for comprehensive access in marine transportation: This guide was developed based on accepted international standards and practices that included facilities and buildings. This guide targets planners, engineers, as well as decision-makers in this sector.
- The guidebook for comprehensive access in the built environment: This guide was developed based on accepted international standards and practices that included facilities and buildings. This guide targets architects, engineers, interior designers as well as decision-makers in this sector.
- A guidebook for comprehensive access to tourist destinations and accommodation sectors: It is a supplementary guide for tourism used as a tool for tourism service providers and all workers in the tourism sector to obtain private information related to tourism-related information.
Special parking spaces are reserved for people with disabilities in all places, and ordinary people who use these parking spaces are restricted to a fine. People with disabilities can use these parking spaces by issuing a digital card for traffic facilities. To obtain this card, please visit this page.
People with disabilities are given priority in obtaining housing support products and land grants and applying to the Real Estate Development Fund to grant easy-to-interest loans for building personal housing, as stipulated in Article 31 of the executive regulations for organizing housing support.
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.
Direct support in sign language
With the deaf group's social care, the government ensures that they receive services in the government and private sectors on an equal basis. The Isharah initiative was launched to help them by providing a digital platform that supports visual communication. Sign language translation can be obtained from translators who work as a third party between the customer and the employee.
King Salman Award for Disability Research
The King Salman Center supports scientific research related to people with disabilities to establish a comprehensive database based on scientific foundations. It also aims, through this research, to reach methods for preventing and treating disabilities. Among the most prominent research: "An inherited model of neural tube defects resulting from a new variable in the SMARCC1 legacy", "The National Survey of Health and Life Stress," and other researches concerned with people with disabilities in general and within the Kingdom in particular. To see more research, you can visit this page.
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:
- 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.
- 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 many governmental bodies and councils at various times and until now.
- Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development
- Authority for the Care of Persons with Disabilities
- Commission Human Rights
- National Society for Human Rights
- Center King Salman Research Disability
- Children with Disabilities Association
- Saudi Charitable Society for Autism
- Saudi Society for Hearing Impairment
- Ebsar Foundation
- General Authority for Statistics
Last Modified Date: 25/04/2021 - 8:26 AM Saudi Arabia Time