An outstanding collection of 200 visual artworks crafted by people with disabilities attracted the attention of the visitors at the accompanying exhibition of the 'First UQU Special Education Forum' in Makkah, organized by Umm Al-Qura University, represented by the Department of Special Education, and the Saudi Association for Special Education “GESTER”. The forum was held during 7–8 Rabi` Al-Thani, 1441 A.H., in conjunction with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), at Millennium Makkah Al Naseem Hotel, with the participation of about 30 governmental and non-governmental organizations.
His Excellency Umm Al-Qura University Vice President, Prof. Farid Al-Ghamdi, viewed the visual artworks, which have an estimated market value of SR. 100 thousand, crafted by persons with disabilities. He also visited the introductory corner of the Department of Special Education in the university where he checked the services it provides for people with disabilities, including the preparation and qualification of educational cadres capable of serving this group of people, and the building of community partnerships through scientific research and disseminating knowledge in the community. Moreover, he visited the pavilions of other non-profit sectors participating in the exhibition.
In his speech during the opening ceremony, His Excellency Prof. Farid Al-Ghamdi underlined that assigning care and attention to people with disabilities and their families comes within the top priority and main interests of the wise leadership, which established centers and programs to provide these people with the proper services, and provided the needed support through all means. The most notable of these entities and programs include: the King Salman Center for Disability Research, and Prince Muhammad bin Salman's Programs for Autism and Developmental Disorders, in addition to the various special education departments in the Saudi universities and centers as well as the academic programs affiliated to the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labor and Social Development.
Moreover, His Excellency noted that the UQU, represented by the Department of Special Education, organized this event by supervising and participating in the organization of workshops, consultation, and training services for the families of people with disabilities and those interested in the field of special education, in cooperation with the concerned parties.