Doha: (QNA:27/4/2008): The firstForum for Gulf Deaf Associations jointly organized by NHRC and The Qatari Cultural and Social Centre for the Deaf ended its deliberations at the Sharq Hotel today with a call for the forum to be held on a regular annual basis. The 2-day Forum was held under the theme: "An Active Gulf Participation Vision of Achieving Human Security for the Deaf".
Topics for discussion during the forum included the organizational and administrative structure of Gulf Deaf associations and the actual well being of the deaf in the region regarding in particular duties and obligations, and laws and legislation regarding the deaf sector of Gulf society.
Recommendations included preserving rights of the deaf in the fields of education, work, social and health care, as well as legislative structures and rehabilitation programmes.
The forum also highlighted misconceptions and legal restrictions on the deaf and projected some activities in which deaf people indulge, contrary to misconceptions.
In this regard, NHCR legal council, Rania Fuad, reviewed a working paper focusing on "legislation for persons with special needs."
In this regard, she stressed that the deaf have equal rights as ordinary citizens that grants them freedom to participate in all aspects of social, cultural and political activities.She also underlined that provisions of the Qatari constitution have, for example, allocated at least 2% of the total levels of posts in the relevant State authorities to people with special needs.
She, also pointed out that there are legal provisions in Qatari laws that support the deaf in their quest for work and that persons with special needs that cannot, for instance, properly express their will have the right to have a court appoint a judge to represent them so as to make it easier for such persons to claim what is theirs by law.
AT the end of forum activities, representatives from NHRC and The Qatari Cultural and Social Centre for the Deaf presented certificates and souvenir gifts to participants in the 2-day forum.