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Government prepares plan to make society more inclusive for people with disabilities

By Mohammad Ghazal - Mar 08,2018 - Last updated at Mar 08,2018

AMMAN — Jordan has stopped licensing disability care centres with lodging facilities, while a plan is being prepared to begin shifting those institutions to daycare centres as part of efforts to integrate people with disabilities into society, a government official said on Wednesday.

"This decision is in line with the law on persons with disabilities and seeks to ensure the rehabilitation and the integration of persons with disabilities into society," Social Development Ministry Spokesperson Fawaz Ratrout told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

Currently, there are about 100 care centres for persons with disabilities across Jordan.

"We are in the process of drafting a plan to turn the existing centres into daycare centres. The current centres will not be shut down, but they will be only providing services during the day… Our objective is for the persons with disabilities to live and integrate in the society," the official said on Wednesday.

The implementation of the plan to transform these centres into daycare facilities is scheduled to start this year, he said, adding that the process will take place over ten years. 

Only a few public disability care centres dealing with special cases will remain unchanged, the government announced late last year.

Commenting on the move, Hussein Khuzai, a sociologist, described the decision as "very positive and constructive step", calling also for more efforts to help integrate persons with disabilities into society.

"We welcome and commend such an unprecedented plan which is one step towards the integration of persons with disabilities into society, but more needs to be done," he told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

Khuzai underlined that the extent of a person's disability needs to be taken into consideration as "some families may not be equipped to deal with certain severe disabilities on their own".

 "We also need to improve services offered to them as this is also key to integration," he added, calling for the enforcement of existing laws on the protection of persons with disabilities.

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