Team Proposals

Nine teams at the PHTT 2019 conference came up with intervention proposals that aim to promote the inclusion of young people of determination in the UAE. Take a look at the team’s proposed interventions and presentations!


We began by thinking about students of determination on our campus, more specifically, a friend of one of our teammates who has a visual impairment and often relies on public safety officers to get around campus, or has hired someone in assisting him to do assignments. We came up with Sawa (“together”) which is an application with a built-in buddy system, connecting students of determination with student assistants. Student assistants can take three forms: a weekly commitment, occasional commitment, or immediate on-call help, and will attend an in-person training if they are getting paid. Student assistants can receive payment, receive community service hours, or a position to put on their resume. We hope the app will have a holistic benefit such as encouragement for more students of determination to attend university, creating a more diverse student body and less worry for parents. The app works by a student of determination selecting which option they need: immediate assistance, emergency help, weekly assistance, etc; in the case of an emergency, public safety will also be notified. In the case of immediate assistance, they can select which type they would like, give consent to share their current location, and send a voice memo to the student assistant of more specific details as to where they are located. We will measure the effectiveness of the app through methods such as tracking usage of the app, the number of student assistant applications, a continual dialogue between users and assistants, and the feedback option. We hope to extend the app to more people of determination and implement our system in universities all over the UAE.


Umm al-Quwain

The lack of communication and unbridged roads of trust exist strongly between people of determination (POD) and health providers. That is primarily due to the lack of knowledge, right attitudes and general practices between them. Our intervention aims to correct, bridge this relationship and transform this one-dimensional perceived approach into three-dimensional approach. This will be carried through Crafting Trust Training Program (CTTP) that will provide medical students with a 14-week essential training program that is spread over the medical years (with an additional optional 14-week extra sessions). The sculpture of this program will be created by medical health professionals and disability counselors to include theoretical knowledge, artistic forms of communication and clinical set. That, with the addition of POD voiced enforcements into the program. The program will be assessed by questionnaires prior to intervention and post intervention to Medical students. In addition to theoretical testing that counts as 5% of the yearly grade. The program will be funded primarily by interested organizations and the government.



Istithnaa’ or exceptional duo is an initiative aiming to solve the lack of importance and prioritization given to the mental health of people of determination in the United Arab Emirates. One way to tackle this issue is through strong family ties especially positive sibling relationships. This will be done through a program that will assist people of determination and their siblings with mental illness in leading more productive and autonomous lifestyles, and to promote mental health through service, advocacy, and education. The program will have 3 main interventions; individual sessions, paired sessions, and group sessions of POD only, sibling only and sessions including both. The first step will be conducting a pilot study which will then be scaled nationwide. This end goal will be to provide valuable data that will be disseminated it to the government and other stakeholders interested in POD and their wellbeing.


Ras al Khaimah

Introduction Fostering at all levels of the education system, including in all children from an early age, an attitude of respect for the rights of persons with disabilities” –WHO It is estimated that worldwide 1 in 160 children has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The published rates of bullying in children with (ASD) vary considerably from 46% to 94%. The majority of children of determination are often not provided a seat at schools because of schools’ lack of resources. Thus, parents of children of determination are often obliged to send their children to special needs centers. In the hierarchy of inclusive learning environments, however, these centers are the most restrictive when it comes to fostering communication and inclusion between youth and children of determination.

Statement of Problem: Gap of communication and interaction with people of determination in the UAE.

Objective: For youth to be familiarized with young people of determination

Plan of action: Educating 9-13 years old students about People of Determination through a structured curriculum program implemented in a government school in Abu Dhabi after school hours. Our buddy program will include Abu Dhabi Autism centre, to practice inclusion people with determination in the community will meet up with middle school students that completed one semester. The students at the end of the semester will be asked to sign up for volunteer work throughout the summer break. Feedback from the students ,teachers and their parents will be taken at the end of the school program.


Abu Dhabi

Even when People of Determination (PoD) require services unrelated to their specific condition, finding a doctor who is confident with their abilities in treating PoD requires extensive effort on the part of the patient or their caregiver. Studies have proven that PoD have a much lower quality of provided medical services due to the social attitudes and inexperience of professionals to provide health services to people with various disabilities. It is a common experience for PoD and/or their caregivers to be constantly redirected to alternate doctors, who might be of better assistance when dealing with mixing medications and anticipating unexpected symptoms. Therefore, “Eltiham” was created to connect PoD searching for the best professionals, as well as experts in the field of medicine such as general physicians, dentists.. etc. who provide these services. Eltiham is a website and app which consists of a database of doctors who are confident in working with PoD. By including relevant information such as CME hours, previous experiences and current locations, our intervention improves the ease of finding professionals who can treat different health problems according to the user’s preferences, minimizing time, and creating a reference for anyone living or moving to the country.


Al Ain

Although the UAE has shown great progress in providing services to people of determination there is still an ongoing effort for building an inclusive society. Change of attitude can have a positive impact on the challenges in communication between people who identify as people of determination and the community that surrounds them. This can be addressed by joining forces to combat a common problem. Studies indicate that a high prevalence of distress exists among young adults both with and without learning disabilities. The research shows that individuals who lack social connectedness are more likely to experience anxiety, have self-esteem difficulties, and have difficulty trusting others. Tawasul will be the first program that provides a safe space for open communication between adolescents who identify as people with determination and people who do not. Tawasul is a program that aims to change perceptions in the Youth about People of Determination and move towards building an inclusive society. This can be done by bringing together high-school-aged individuals of all abilities for a series of fun, interactive activities. A total of 4 events will take place in the following universities: NYU Abu Dhabi, University of Sharjah, Canadian University of Dubai, and Gulf Medical University during 4 months.There will be three sessions at each event that address common issues faced by all students directed by a life coach, activities such as dialogue sessions, and improvising sessions as well as fun activities. Tawasul also seeks to involve parents by encouraging them to attend an end of program event in which they can express how this program has influenced their child and the family as a whole, as well as any feedback for future programs.



This project relies on building a better world without socially constructed boundaries between People of determination and the larger society in U.A.E.

As statistics indicate, 67% of people in the UAE believe that those with intellectual disabilities should be placed in special-education schools. This is due to the socially constructed boundaries and this is what we are here to challenge. To do this, we would like to create a video campaign which incorporates bridging the gaps with the help of education and sustained dialogue.

Social media and dialogue is a huge and effective platform in todays world to help open up the mind of today’s youth. People rely on Youtube and Instagram to end their day, and these videos circulated on these platforms is how we plan on reaching to the entire population. Videos will be created to share a conversation between two children, regarding opinions, wishes, similarities to highlight how we all are similar.

We will use these videos to deliver workshops to high school students, sparking dialogue to bring awareness to the biases and how we can create a more inclusive world. We will support these students in delivering these workshops to younger students to start a cycle of conversation. This aids the sustainability and reach of this programme. These videos and workshops will be completed each month, and the high school students will progressively be introduced into our team, so that we can eventually hand over the programme to them and create a legacy.



The Shababi Program is a long-term home-based personalized healthcare for young people of determination striving to facilitate their access to healthcare. The challenge we want to solve is unintended neglect and subsequent medical escalation of stable people of determination. To solve this challenge, the program provides committed home visits for routine medical procedures, constant education for PoD’s parents or primary caregivers, emergency transportation towards hospitals if required, as well as introducing external medical resources when needed and facilitating the transition to the next stage of healthcare. The program will target UAE national young people of determination. And the pilot project will take place in two areas in Abu Dhabi. Information about them is gathered from the Ministry of Community Development’s registration system. The stakeholders of this program are DOH, ZHO, SEHA, people of determination, and ADEK(Schools): administrators, teachers, nurses. The program will be evaluated by comparing before/ after medical records of PoD, and surveys given to the caregivers and staff which ask about their level of satisfaction on the service.



Women of determination in the UAE and around the world face greater marginalization in their transition into adulthood. As per the UN Flagship report on disability, an average  13% of women with disabilities cannot get healthcare when they need it, 16% of women with disabilities have experienced violence because of their disability, and only 14% of women with disabilities from the Northern Africa and Western Asia are employed. As an effort to tackle the current situation, we plan on presenting the Mara’a Mentorship Series-  a sustainable initiative to help young women between the ages of 18 – 26, who have intellectual disabilities in the UAE. The Mara’a Mentorship Series is programmed to provide these young women with specific workshops focussing on Self Reliance, personal care, Health & Safety, financial responsibility, Social & Vocational skills and future prospects. The participants would be interacting with both professionals in the field as well as established and successful older People of Determination. This series would be an open opportunity for participants to engage with the material for self development, as opposed to a promise of a certified outcome.