DUBAI // Dubai's Community Development Authority aims to improve the status of disabled children in the community through a project called Friendly Touch.
The programme is intended to increase awareness and welcome special-needs children as part of the community, said Sheikh Maktoum bin Butti Al Maktoum, the chief executive of the social care unit of the Community Development Authority (CDA).
"CDA is committed to launching community-based initiatives that will contribute to social development and enhance the services for children with disabilities to activate their role in the community," he said.
The campaign, slated to end in January, will involve 18 discussions on topics such as how to recognise signs of child abuse - mental or physical - and what families of disabled children can do to boost the child's self esteem.
The first two discussions, led by the CDA consultant Dr Eman Gaad, dealt with the psychological and social effects of the abuse of disabled children. Other topics that are to be tackled include how best to deal with a disabled child who has been abused, and the role of the media in spreading awareness.
The campaign follows the opening last week of the Ministry of Interior centre for child protection in Abu Dhabi.
"We aspire to … ensure the protection of all segments of society," said Sheikh Maktoum.