The Second International Rehabilitation Conference, organized by the Handicapped Children's Society and the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research, ended today, with praise for Saudi Arabia's promotion of early examination to contain handicaps, and a call for technological capabilities to be mobilized for the advancement of the retarded. The conference also recommended the holding of symposia, conferences and training courses for the handicapped, and urged the private sector to participate in these; and stressed the concept of recruiting the handicapped into public service and helping them to live as social beings within their communities. More than 1,600 participants, both male and female, contributed to the conference, with over 200 papers submitted.
For his part, Governor of Riyadh Province Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, who is chairman of both organizations, described the Kingdom's new Disabilities Act as having benefited from previous legislation, and said that, based as it is on Shari'a [Islamic Law], it will provide the best services for the handicapped.
On the sidelines of the conference, Prince Salman was received into the International Rehabilitation Organization (IRO) as an honorary member in recognition of his distinguished efforts to face the issue of disability, and his effective contribution in forging the International Rehabilitation Strategy for the coming decade, a copy of which was presented to him. The document was approved by the IRO General Assembly in U.K. in September, 1999. The Prince Salman Center for Disability Research took part in that Assembly, and in the 19th Conference in Brazil in August, 2000.