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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
  • Autism
  • 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 percentage of individuals with disabilities constitutes 7.1% of the total population of the Kingdom. According to the Statistics Authority, the number of people with disabilities is as follows:

  • Hearing Impairment: . 289.355
  • Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): 30.155
  • Mobility Impairment: 833.136
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): 53.282
  • Down Syndrome: 19.428
  • Visual Impairment: 811.610

For more information, click here.

Legal Framework

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:

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:

International Legislation

The Kingdom is also keen to abide by international legislation and agreements to ensure a decent life for people with special needs compared to others in other countries, and among the most prominent of these agreements and treaties are the international agreement and the Marrakesh Treaty.

Protection from Abuse

The Kingdom guarantees protection from various kinds of abuse 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.

Social care

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:

Service: Financial support for people with disabilities

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.

Rehabilitation Centers

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.

To find out the conditions and all the details related to the center, you can visit this page, and you can also search for the nearest headquarters to you through the interactive map.

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.

To find out the conditions and all the details related to the centers, you can visit this page, and you can also search for the nearest headquarters to you through the interactive map.

Daycare centers

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.

To register and find out the conditions and all the details related to the centers, you can visit this page, and you can also search for the nearest headquarters to you through the interactive map.

Health care

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.

Priority card

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)

Early Care Services for Children with Disabilities in the Preschool Age

Early Childhood development and care

This stage is dedicated to children, including children with disabilities under the age of six. It is offered through government and private kindergartens throughout the Kingdom and is divided into nurseries and preschool. The Ministry of Education offers free grants for special education schools and private special education programs in accordance with specific standards and requirements: Primary, Secondary, Intermediate and Kindergarten.

Preschool programs

The Kingdom has made significant efforts to include children with disabilities in preschool programs. The Ministry of Education laid down the basics for students' physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development and their development simultaneously, in the early stages of childhood between the ages of 3-8 years, including children with disabilities. The process at each step depends on the capabilities achieved by the child in the previous stage.

Special care and education

The Kingdom is concerned with providing equal opportunities and educational services suitable for the needs of children with special needs in the preschool age and their families. Specialized institutes and special education supporting centers have provided them with cases that need special attention and care. They have provided opportunities for blended education for children with disabilities in the preschool age with ordinary children so that everyone can accept the difference in abilities between them.

Government institutes for different disabilities are dedicated to being equipped with the necessary curricula compatible with their needs, presented by specialized teachers. They offer several training programmes and facilities targeting children with disabilities, parents, and kindergarten teachers. These programmes include guidance on how to deal with children with disabilities with visual and hearing disabilities, sign language for the deaf, handling speech and language disorders in kindergarten-going children and talent identification programmes. The Institutes provides expert teachers who specialize in dealing with children with disabilities. Additionally, they provide rehabilitative services to various groups of people with disabilities, including children with disabilities in the preschool age.

View more on special education strategies and special education support centers for people with disabilities, including children with special needs in the preschool age.
View the Educational Map For Institutes and Special Education Programs.

Social Services

The Kingdom seeks to provide financial aid and support to children with disabilities in the preschool age and their families registered with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development by providing monthly financial benefits. Families of children with disabilities in the preschool age can apply for the online service for financial aid for children with disabilities. Financial and social benefits are disbursed to help families who care for one or more children with disabilities in the preschool age, whose care has been entrusted to the Ministry's Agency for Social Welfare and Development.
Related services:

Education for People with Disabilities

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has taken upon itself to provide opportunities for a decent life for all its citizens alike, including education. The Kingdom, in accordance with its capabilities, is concerned with providing equal opportunities to educate individuals with mental and physical disabilities by developing a variety of cultural training curricular that are in line with their situations. This development is done to provide care to people with special needs by providing them with the necessary education and training to help them develop appropriate skills to reach the best levels of education, compatible with their abilities.
Believing in the importance of equal educational opportunities between ordinary children and children with special needs, Saudi Arabia has provided educational services suitable for the needs of children with special 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. 

Personalized Education

There are many governmental institutes for various disabilities, such as Institutes of Intellectual EducationInstitutes of Visual ImpairmentInstitutes of Hearing Impairment.According to needs, these institutes are equipped to provide compatible curricula with disabled students through specialized teachers and provide rehabilitation services to different groups of people with disabilities.

Inclusive Education

Including students with disabilities in general education schools while ensuring that they receive the necessary educational support and rehabilitation services, allowing them to advance with their peers in various classrooms such as learning difficulties , behavioral disorders and autism. The Ministry of Education is keen on creating an educational environment in schools by training its staff to obtain a healthy and stable educational environment suitable for special needs students' desires.

Department of Support Services

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 area). 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 enables them to depend on themselves and make them productive members of society and compatible with their environment.

Maaeen for Special Education

The Ministry of Education offers free grants 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.

Sanad Project for Special Education 

Sanad empowers children with disabilities to obtain suitable job opportunities and education, ensuring their independence and integration as active members of society. The project provides them with all the facilities and tools to help them achieve success through the National Transformation Program, launched to contribute to the realization of Saudi Vision 2030 initiatives by developing the education sector, including the Special Education Development Initiative, which aims to support and design services provided for special education in accordance with the latest international distinguished practices.

Registering a Student in General Education (Nour)

An e-service provided by the Ministry of Education enables parents and school leaders to enroll students with disabilities through this service in implementing the equality in education principle.

Click here to view the locations of Special Education Schools around the Kingdom.

Institutes and Specialized Education Programs

View the Educational Map For Institutes and Special Education Programs

Distance Education and E-Learning for People with Disabilities during COVID-19

The Ministry of Education has provided an e-platform known as the Madrasati platform to manage and monitor the education processes in line with present and future digital requirements. The platform is designed and includes many electronic educational tools that support teaching and learning processes for people with disabilities and contribute to achieving the educational goals of curricula and decisions. The Ministry of Education has provided guidelines and instructions for Students with disabilities, Parents, Teachers, School Managers and Institutional Supervisors for special education.

In addition, the Ministry of Education issued a number of evidence supporting distance learning processes for people with disabilities and they include the following:

The Ministry works to support the participation of parents for students with disabilities, through guides, the Ain educational channels, and trained special education teachers and supervisors on the Madrasati platform, new intellectual education curricula, and reference guides in special education.

For more information about Distance Education and E-Learning for People with Disabilities in the Kingdom, click here.

Special Education Strategies

An educational strategy developed to provide special education services to all special needs students. This strategy is based on 10 main points:

  • Activating the role of regular schools in the field of raising and educating special needs children.
  • Expanding the role of special education institutes.
  • Human core team development in special education institutes and programs.
  • Developing curricula, study plans and textbooks for special education institutes and programs.
  • Adopting modern technology to serve the disabled.
  • Developing the organizational structure of the General Administration of Special Education.
  • Studying existing regulations, developing them, and preparing new regulations for future programs.
  • Expanding the creation of special education departments in educational departments and activating their role.
  • Activating the role of scientific research in the field of special education.
  • Cooperating and coordinating with the relevant authorities inside and outside the Kingdom.

View more on special education strategies and special education supporting centers.

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:

Adaptive environment

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.

Organizational Adaptation

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.

Assessed Adaptation

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:

Compatibility program

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.

Mowaamah system

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.

Telework

The telework program is one of the important national initiatives launched by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, with the aim of bridging the gap between business owners and those looking for them, preventing several obstacles between them and their access to suitable job opportunities.

Qaderoon

An initiative that aims to support and empower employers in all types of businesses related to the addition of individuals with disabilities as equal and effective members of the workforce. The initiative also provides educational lectures and workshops, consultations on work environments and employment services, conducts media campaigns, provides educational resources, and prints and publishes important news.

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.

Travel guide for people with special needs

The General Authority of Civil Aviation has issued a travel guide for people with special needs, with the aim of providing them with full support and protecting their rights at the Kingdom's airports.

Access facilities and parking

Accessibility

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.
  • Facilitation services for educational, health, government and other facilities

Parking

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.

Housing

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.

Mobile services

  • Mobile Notaries is a free service provided by the Ministry of Justice to beneficiaries who are unable to come to notaries public offices for people with disabilities and holders of a priority card issued by the Ministry of Health.
  • Civil Affairs home service is a service provided by the Civil Affairs Office, where at home services are provided to people with disabilities. To benefit from this service, log on to the Civil Affairs website from Absher, then choose to apply for an assessment service, and attach your reports.

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.

Online services for People with Disabilities

As a general practice, the KSA Government provides general eServices targeting all citizens and residents without prejudice of their gender, age, religion, ethnicity, or other personal characteristics. However, to protect the rights of People with Disabilities and to address their needs, the government developed special initiatives and eServices. These services are designed and developed in line with the WCAG 2.0 AAA standards for web accessibility. Some of the specific eServices include:

Health services

Social protection services

Educational services

Employment services

Justice services

Useful Links:

Related Agencies:


Last Modified Date: 11/07/2021 - 2:26 PM Saudi Arabia Time
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