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"Hear my Voice - Understanding Hearing Loss" conference launches

Apr 23, 2013 - 08:43 -

WAM DUBAI: Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, and President of Zayed University, today opened the "Hear my Voice - Understanding Hearing Loss" conference at the University's campus in Dubai.

Held between 23 - 24 of April 2013, the conference will discuss education, social integration and acceptance and to raise awareness about the opportunities to integrate deaf individuals into wider society.

The conference will also seek to inform people about the need for inclusion in the educational system and the easy, practical steps that can be taken to address the challenges faced by the hearing impaired community.

In opening remarks, Sheikh Nahyan hailed the conference as a creative step by Kalimati Speech '&' Communication Center, an independent speech '&' language therapy center established in 2010.

"The conference reflects the courage of the founder and director of the center, Bodour Saeed Al Raqbani," Sheikh Nahyan said.

She and her staff meet an increasing need for treatment of the disability of the deaf and mute individuals, and children in particular.

"Your plan seeks more than raising awareness. It does provoke thinking and urges for giving new ideas and knowledge," he said.

He expressed hope that the conference will contribute to the UAE's national strategy to promote health and compassion in the society.

"President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan taught us that the way we care those underprivileged and less lucky people gauges the progress and humanity of our society," Sheikh Nahyan said.

"The UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan seek to provide proper education for everybody as we believe that Allah gave all of them abilities and recognition to enable them to contribute to the community." The UAE, he noted, issued a federal law to protect the rights of people with special needs and to promote their integration into the community and schools.

Targeting the need to raise awareness with the government, health professionals, educators, therapists and parents, the conference will offer insight into a world of silence and the remarkable abilities, tenacity and capabilities of these individuals, while also highlighting the need for better understanding and societal acceptance and integration.

Providing a platform for open discussion and dialogue with leading specialists and international experts, the keynote speaker will be Dr. Alan Hurwitz, President of Gallaudet University (Washington DC, USA) which is the world's premier higher education institution for the hearing impaired and he will lead a discussion on the advantages of educating and employing members of the hearing impaired and deaf community.

Conducted over 2 days the conference will offer lectures covering a spectrum of emotions and social elements, workshops (including sign language in English and Arabic) and the opportunity to interact with people who have excelled, in spite of being hearing impaired. The conference will also showcase an art exhibition of original artwork by deaf and hearing impaired children from across the UAE.