Pope Tawadros II, social solidarity minister Nevine El-Qabbaj
The celebration was organised by the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Centre within the framework of a cooperation protocol with Ain Shams University.
Pope Tawadros II told the event: "We see hope. Society in the form of Egyptian universities have opened their doors to people with hearing impairment and speech disabilities to study and excel in life."
El-Qabbaj said people with special needs in Egypt total around 11 million citizens, including people suffering from learning difficulties and other severe disabilities.
“The ministry places these cases at the forefront of its priorities,” the minister said.
Around 1,500 civil associations provide people with special needs with care and services since birth, El-Qabbaj noted.
Early detection of hearing impairment and speech disabilities contributes to improvement in those cases. Nurseries now play a role in detecting these cases as well as other learning difficulties, she stressed.
El-Qabbaj also highlighted the importance of integrating disabled people into job market and securing relevant job opportunities.
A new website will be launched to facilitate employment for the disabled in Egypt, she announced during the event.
Over the past years, Egypt has taken several steps to empower people with special needs and ensure that they receive the appropriate health, housing, transportation, education, and rehabilitation services as per the country's constitution.
Egyptian law also reserves eight seats in parliament for people with special needs.
The Ministry of Manpower has also allocated a page on their website for people with special needs wiling to apply for jobs.
Egypt had designated 2018 a year for people with special needs.
In 2019, Egypt established the National Council for Persons with Disabilities as per a presidential decree. The council is an independent entity in terms of financing and administration and has the prerogatives to report violations related to disabled people to the authorities.