RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers has approved a law regarding the rights of people with disabilities.
Hisham Al-Haidary, CEO of the Authority for the Care of People with Disabilities, said the new law was prepared in accordance with the needs of individuals with disabilities and to serve as a foundation for their rights across various fields.
Al-Haidary told Arab News: “This law improves the quality of services provided to the concerned people, such as the ability to enjoy their rights related to education, health, and employment, in addition to entertainment, culture, and sports.
“This law has taken into account all the laws that guarantee human rights, and the legal aspects, social aspects, disability discrimination, and violations and penalties related to it.”
He added that the authority collaborated with various government sectors to prepare the law, which aims to establish a clear and robust foundation that promotes independence, integration and empowerment, and raises awareness among individuals regarding their rights related to disabilities.
He said: “This law aims to protect and improve the rights of the concerned people and ensure their access to all services, like others.”
The law is based on fundamental principles revolving around non-discrimination based on disability, and ensuring that the needs of individuals with disabilities are considered in all government and non-government legislation, strategies, policies, activities, programs, plans, and designs.
Additionally, the law grants individuals who have reached the age of majority the right to directly engage in legal action, unless their disability prevents them from doing so under relevant legal provisions.
It also emphasizes the importance of training staff members on the needs of individuals with disabilities and raising awareness about their rights. It further highlights the need to provide accessibility requirements and facilitation arrangements.
The law encourages the active participation of individuals with disabilities in managing their own affairs, in accordance with the governing provisions.
It also promotes the use of alternative and appropriate methods of communication, such as verbal or written communication, sign language, or other means, to effectively engage with individuals with disabilities.