In celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities coinciding on 3rd December each year, the Ministry of Community Development adopted New Symbols of National Classification of Disabilities (People of Determination). The new set of logos consisted of a “symbol, drawing or sign” symbolizing one of the categories of the people of determination, facilities or services provided for them, places assigned to them or tools they use. The new set of logos will be also circulated to different entities while the old logo of the people of determination will be replaced with the new one all over the UAE based on a ministerial decision in this regard.
The world celebrates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities under the theme “Promoting the Participation of Persons with Disabilities and their Leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda”, while the announcement of the Ministry of Community Development of the new logo coincides with the National Policy for Empowering People of Determination which included several pillars to enhance their empowerment in different fields and recognized their accomplishments in various fields.
On this occasion, Her Excellency Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, stated that the philosophy and purpose of the new logo consists with the title (People of Determination) being active members in the community, unlike the stereotyped old logo; noting that the new logo depicts transition into independency and self-determination, and expresses flexibility for people of determination and acceptance of variable changes around them; it also enhances their easy understandings and integration in various educational, practical and social fields.
Her Excellency the Minister emphasized that the Ministry of Community Development is very keen to keep up with new development ideas that will facilitate day to day tasks and practices of these categories. In this context, the adoption of the new classification for people of determination in the UAE is an additional recognition to be added to the sustainable achievements of the UAE for the people of determination.
Her Excellency Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, said: “The new set of logos reflects the current trends and international stanadards (ISO), to be used easily and at the same time determination the suitable services and facilitate easy accessibility for the people of determination and their families as well as care providers, professionals and public. The new set of logos depended on using consistent graphics to convey information quickly and smoothly; to easily direct user’s information and services with easy understandings regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills or concentration levels, these high contrast logos use international standard colors and can be easily recognized by everyone”.
Furthermore, Wafa Hamad Bin Sulaiman, Director of Welfare & Rehabilitation Department for People of Determination, emphasized that the new symbols replace words in order to identify and standardize services and centers, facilities, information, communications and accessibility all over the UAE. She said: “There are four types of symbols: “General”, universal symbol for use of all the people of determination, “Broad” embraces a number of different types of a given disability such as physical disability, “Combination” where more than one disability is present such as multiple disability, “Specific” for use exclusively with a specific disability such as the neurodevelopmental disorder “ADHD”.
One of the signs of the new logo for the people of determination, the presence of the circle on which the person sits, which expresses the wheel of life and continuous development, and symbolizes that the people of determination are partly motivating members of the community towards further development and growth, the hand movement is also very different from the old logo; the moving hand that pushes the wheelchair is a symbol of initiative, self-reliance, and a desire towards progress, accomplishment; while the curved trunk symbolizes the state of readiness and preparedness of the person in a state of movement and gathering all his strength to move forward.
The purpose of the new set of logos is to provide services for the people of determination in the UAE, raise the level of cooperation between concerned authorities through a unified definition of disability, recognize people of determination and identify their needs. According to the new classification, the persons of disabilities in the UAE are referred to as the ‘people of determination’. Despite the adherence to the international recognized logo which refers to all types of disabilities, yet the Ministry of Community Development has chosen to display a new logo instead of the old one in recognition of the independence of the people of determination.
In detail, the general symbol is internationally accepted and recognized representing people of determination to be used for any information and/or service for all the people of determination. It is to be used as signage to indicate all accessibility in a built environment for people everywhere. The broad categories symbols represent broad categories of disabilities, physical, visually impaired and hearing impaired. These are the second most commonly used and recognized internationally. They are to be used to indicate all services, aides and equipments, facilities that support a specific group (e.g platform lifts, large print, induction loops, sensory room).
Combination symbols are for multiple disability (deaf/blind). They should be used to indicate specific support services or centers and for information and records. The specific symbols have been recognized by the UAE due to their importance in identifying and supporting neurodevelopmental disorders and psycho/emotional disorders. Specific symbols have therefore been created for intellectual disability, specific learning disorders, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactive disorders, communication disorders and psycho/emotional disorders. They are to be used for specialty centers and rehabilitation services, information (both hard copy and digital) and communication aids.
It is noted that the National Classification of Disabilities (people of determination) symbols in the UAE consists of a set of logos with "symbol, drawing or sign", to reflect the comprehensive efforts of the Ministry in the empowerment of the people of determination hence providing them with the maximum possible services so that they can access the best services smoothly and easily.