AUCD Signs MoU with Dubai Community Development Authority to Share Best Practices in Disability Services

January 6, 2014

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AUCD Executive Director Andy Imparato and His Excellency Khaled Al Kamda, Director General of the Community Development Authority
AUCD Executive Director Andy Imparato and His Excellency Khaled Al Kamda, Director General of the Community Development Authority

From the CDA press release, more at the above URL:

The Community Development Authority (CDA), and in line with "My community...a city for everyone" initiative, signed recently a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) based on the USA. The agreement will facilitate the cooperation between CDA and the AUCD to bring the best practices and programs for people with disabilities (PWD) for the first time to the Middle East. The agreement will also enable advanced consultation and trainings to CDA staff by members of AUCD.

The MoU is the first agreement of its kind that AUCD signs with an organisation in the Middle East and will help CDA to establish the first Center of Excellence for Disabilities in the region. AUCD members include 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, 43 Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and 15 Intellectual and Developmental Disability Research Centers.

The agreement was signed during CDA's participation in AUCD annual conference held between 17 and 20 November and was themed "Promoting Inclusion in an Increasingly Diverse World". CDA mission to the USA was headed by H.E. Khaled Al Kamda -Director General of Dubai Community Development Authority and included Dr. Bushra Al Mulla, Social Program & Services Director, Dr. Hussain Maseeh, Social Programs & Services Expert and Dr. Heba Atyah, Disability service Consultant.

CDA presented a paper to the conference demonstrating Dubai experience in the field of PWD inclusion and explained the objectives of "My community... a city for everyone" initiative launched recently by H. H Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council to make the whole of Dubai a disabled-friendly city by the year 2020.

The paper highlighted CDA's lifespan approach for the PWD services that intends to cover the entire life of this segment starting from the early childhood and along the ages with an integrated system includes healthcare, educational, social and leisure services. The paper showed that the initial plan is to focus on the early detection of the disabilities and adopt a lifetime protection and inclusion strategy that takes care from the medical services, the rehabilitation, educational support and inclusion, vocational training, job placement and independence and assisted living programme upon to each case requirement.

Al Kamda said: "CDA propose a lifespan approach for PWD which requires a strong research base and collaboration between the government and community organisations. The legislative and regulatory role is vital and so is the NOGs and community agenises role in order to enhance the inclusion of this segment in the society and boost companies and individuals awareness on their responsibilities toward PWD".

CDA mission to the USA conducted group of field visits to healthcare, educational, and community service providers devoted to deliver tailored services to marginalized groups and PWD. The visits aimed to explore the best practices and most successful experiences in this regard.


CDA launched yesterday brainstorming process to firm up the final goals and to draw the roadmap and the timelines to activate the MoU with AUCD. A work shop with the concerned NOGs will be held next week to further discuss the plans and the objectives.

Dubai and AUCD dignitaries
Representatives from AUCD and the Dubai Community Development Authority during the signing of the MOU at the 2013 AUCD Conference