Special Needs employees prove their abilities

DUBAI: The Work Placement Programme by Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs in Dubai has successfully placed 65 students at various institutions in the emirate who have proven time after time that they are capable of gainful work, bringing more than their services to the table. Isphana al Khaib, Director of the Centre, told the Gulf News daily that the programme has been running since 2001 and has successfully placed 65 students. Currently, 23 are working in open employment.

Before getting placed in jobs, Isphana explained that those who are older than 17 have to go through the 10-month programme where they are taught practical, communication and social skills.

The director said not all students can be placed in open employment. “They need to be independent in self-help skills, have basic communication skills, and enough cognition to be ‘safe’ in open employment. That is why screening is done pre-programme.

Students who may not fit into open employment are put in ‘sheltered employment’ and internships. Currently, 14 young adults are in such placements.

Isphana said the salaries they receive can range from Dh1,000 to Dh 7,000, however, it is not only about the monetary value, it is also about fostering independence and confidence while raising awareness about their abilities.