The Community Development Authority (CDA), in coordination with Victor Pineda Foundation (VPF), organized an informative session entitled â€œBridging the gap between policy and practicesâ€ on issues related to empowering young people with disabilities and developing the quality of services they receive from the community. This initiative is part of CDAâ€™s efforts to exchange expertise and communication channels in creating a meaningful difference to the society, with an emphasis on people with disabilities.
The session was conducted by Mr Victor Pineda, the founder of VPF, who focused on the need to promote the rights and dignity of young people with disabilities. He asserted on the need for a concerted human and civil rights approach to disability programs and policies, and building an inclusive society whereby these youngsters can develop their talents, skills and abilities and reach their full potential.
Dr Maryam Matar, Director General of the CDA, said: â€œCDA organized the session to shed light on the vital role played by the young people with disabilities in the society. CDA is committed to implementing international standards in supporting those people and follows a special policy to guarantee the best ways to empower them and benefit from their inherent potentialâ€, through supportingÂ the youth with disabilities by working with training and support centres. â€œWe need to have an all-encompassing strategy that involves all sections of the society to participate in empowering these youth.â€
Mr Victor Pineda said: â€œI extend my sincere thanks to Dr Maryam Matar and the leadership of CDA for giving me the opportunity to discuss such an important societal issue. The Victor Pineda Foundation is an educational non-profit organization that promotes the rights and dignities of young people with disabilities. We seek to build inclusive societies where they can develop their talents, skills and abilities and reach their full potential.â€
He added: â€œThe Victor Pineda Foundation dedicates a large amount of time working on the ground by sharing our experiences, research findings and fieldwork with policy makers, opinion leaders, and peer educators.â€
Victor Pineda studied at the University of California, Berkeley, where he obtained degrees in Political Economy, Business Administration, and a masterÃ¢â„¢s in City and Regional Planning. He is currently at the University of California Los Angeles completing his PhD. Mr. Pineda is also the 2009 Fulbright-Hays Fellow at the Dubai School for Government in the United Arab Emirates.
Community Development Authority (CDA):
The CDA is a government entity mandated with enhancing the social development in Dubai to achieve the Dubai strategic plan 2015 which was announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum on February 2007.
The CDA will work towards promoting and raising the social standards in Dubai, and increasing the role of citizens in the community by cooperating with concerned entities in order to achieve the goals of the development sector and to develop the basic structure necessary for this.
The CDA will work on setting up the necessary policies and standards pertaining to social services providers based on its five strategic goals including promotion of national identity, social protection, social inclusion, social empowerment, and social cohesion in Dubai.