Vol 2 No 3 (2019): Volume 2, Issue 3, Year 2019

The Employment Continuum: A Framework for Hiring People with Disabilities in Dubai, UAE

Jennifer Erin Camulli
Accessibility and Inclusion Consultant, Educational Therapist, Dubai, UAE
Guohui Xie
Special Educational Needs Consultant, DDDC, Singapore
Published September 9, 2019
  • People with Disabilities (PWD),
  • People of Determination (POD),
  • Emiratisation,
  • Inclusive Employment,
  • Universal Design,
  • Accessibility
  • ...More
How to Cite
Erin Camulli, J., & Xie, G. (2019). The Employment Continuum: A Framework for Hiring People with Disabilities in Dubai, UAE. Asian Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, 2(3), 56-75. https://doi.org/10.34256/ajir1936

Plum Analytics


Globally, people with disabilities (PWD) face enormous barriers to securing decent and sustainable employment in the workforce. Quota systems to counter this have been enacted in some countries and yielded some successful results. There is risk, however, of token employment within a quota program in the absence of a structured assessment/evaluation protocol. The authors of this paper propose a comprehensive inclusive employment framework, The Employment Continuum, for employment of PWD in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a measure to temper ableist practices and address the need for assessment/evaluation protocol of PWD as well as an appraisal of the employer and workplace to ensure accessible and sustainable employment.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


  1. UN World Health Organization (WHO), World Report on Disability: Summary, 2011, WHO/NMH/VIP/11.01, Retrieved from: http://www.refworld.org/docid/50854a322.html
  2. K.H. Chia, and K.N. Kee, The 2-Triple-E framework of inclusive employment for people with disabilities in Singapore, SAVAP International, 4(2013), 469-481.
  3. Medalla, D.V., and Medalla, B.M. (2018). Empowering persons with disabilities through training and employment: A case study. International Forum, 21(1), 150-172.
  4. Emirates NBD Group. (2019). Cultivating an inclusive service sector: Empowering customers with disabilities in the UAE [White paper], White Paper Media Consulting, 1 (2018) Dubai, UAE. Retrieved from https://www.emiratesnbd.com/en/assets/File/PwD_Whitepaper_Eng_Jan21.pdf
  5. United Nations Enable (2007). Fact Sheet 1. Employment of persons with disabilities, November 2007, DPI/2486, Retrieved from: http://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/toolaction/employmentfs.pdf
  6. International Labour Organisation, (2015) 2030 Development agenda: ILO Focus targets. 21 October 2015, A/RES/70/1, Retrieved from: http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E
  7. A. Azhar, P. Duncan, and D. Edgar, A multi-phase methodology for investigating localisation policies within the GCC: The hotel industry in the KSA and the UAE, International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 8(2014) 3854-3858.
  8. Portal of the UAE Government, (2018) Information and services. Employment of people of determination. Retrieved from: https://www.government.ae/en/information-and-services/jobs/employment-of-people-with-special-needs
  9. Ministry of Community Development (2017) National policy to empower people of determination, Retrieved from https://government.ae/about-the-uae/strategies-initiatives-and-awards/federal-governments-strategies-and-plans/the-national-policy-for-empowering-people-with-special-needs
  10. L. Al-Gazali, H. Hamamy, (2014) Call for improved genetic services in Arab countries, Nature Middle East, Retrieved from https://www.natureasia.com/en/nmiddleeast/article/10.1038/nmiddleeast.2014.122
  11. G.O. Tadmouri, P. Nair, T. Obeid, M.T. Al Ali, N. Al Khaja, H.A. Hamamy, Consanguinity and reproductive health among Arabs, Reproductive Health, 6 (2009).
  12. E. Gaad, (2011) Inclusive Education in the Middle East, Routledge, New York.
  13. International Labour Organisation, (2015) Decent work agenda. Retrieved from https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/decent-work/lang--en/index.htm
  14. K.H. Chia, (2013a) Disability is a multifaceted issue, The Straits Times (Forum), p. A34.
  15. Ministry of Education, (2019) General rules for the provision of special education programs and services, Retrieved from: https://www.moe.gov.ae/Ar/Legislation/Documents/English%20Side%20Final.pdf#search=General%20Rules%20of%20the%20PRovision%20of%20special%20education
  16. International Labour Organization, (1983) C159 Vocational rehabilitation and employment (Disabled persons) convention. Retrieved from: https://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:12100:0::NO::P12100_ILO_CODE:C159
  17. N. Jones, (2018) Next steps in the push for Emiratisation in the financial sector, Retrieved from https://www.tamimi.com/law-update-articles/next-steps-in-the-push-for-emiratisation-in-the-final-sector/
  18. Penalty of Dh20k per point below Emiratisation target, (2018) Khaleej Times. Retrieved from https://www.khaleejtimes.com/penalty-of-dh20k-per-point-below-emiratisation-target
  19. N., Alborno, E. Gaad, Employment of young adults with disabilities in Dubai: A case study, Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, 9(2012) 103-111.
  20. R.M. Keller, C.E. Galgay, (2010) Microaggressive experiences of people with disabilities, In W.S. Derald (Ed.), Microaggressions and Marginality: Manifestation, dynamics, and impact, 241-267) John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJ.
  21. D. DiLeo, (2015) Benevolent Ableism: When Help isn’t Helping, Retrieved from https://daledileo.com/benevolent-ableism-when-help-isnt-helping/
  22. R-M. Beckwith, M.G. Friedman, J.W. Conroy, Beyond tokenism; People with complex needs in leadership roles: A review of the literature, Inclusion, 4(2016) 1-20.
  23. Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, (2019) Absher Program. Retrieved from https://www.mohre.gov.ae/en/faq.aspx
  24. UN General Assembly, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: resolution / adopted by the General Assembly, 24 January (2007) A/RES/61/106, Retrieved from: http://www.refworld.org/docid/45f973632.html
  25. K. Carr, P.L. Weir, D. Azar, N.R. Azar, Universal design: A step toward successful aging, Journal of Aging Research, (2013), 1-8.
  26. Center for Applied Special Technology, (2018) Universal design for learning guidelines 2.2., CAST, Wakefield, MA. Retrieved from http://udlguidelines.cast.org/binaries/content/assets/udlguidelines/udlg-v2-2/udlg_graphicorganizer_v2-2_numbers-yes.pdf
  27. K.T. Mueser, R.E. Clark, M. Haines, R.E. Drake, G.J. McHugo, G.R. Bond, S.M. Essock, D.R. Becker, R. Wolfe, and K. Swain, The Hartford study of supported employment for persons with severe mental illness, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72 (2004) 479-490.
  28. L. Scott, S. Saddler, C.A. Thoma, C. Bartholomew, N.A. Virginia, and R. Tamura, Universal design for transition: A single subject research study on the impact of UDT on student achievement, engagement and interest, Journal of Educational Psychology, 4(2011) 21-32.
  29. L.R.A. Scott, L. Bruno, Universal design for transition: A conceptual framework for blending academics and transition instruction, The Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship, 7(2019) 1-16.
  30. B.M. Ferdman, B.R. Deane, (2014) Diversity at work: The practice of inclusion, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA.
  31. B. Caldwell, M. Cooper, L.G. Reid, G. Vanderheiden, (2008) Web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. Retrieved from https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/
  32. Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, (2018) EnAbling retail for accessible employment, Retrieved from https://www.retailcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/ER_Handbook.pdf
  33. H.S. Kaye, L.H. Jans, E.C. Jones, Why don’t employers hire and retain workers with disabilities? Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 21 (2011) 526-536.
  34. B. Kirsh, M. Stergiou-Kita, R. Gewurtz, D. Dawson, T. Krupa, R. Lysaght, and L. Shaw, From margins to mainstream: What do we know about work integration for persons with brain injury, mental illness and intellectual disability? Work, 32(2009) 391-405.
  35. K. Van Dam, T. Van Vuuren, and S. Kemps, Sustainable employment: the importance of intrinsically valuable work and an age-supportive climate, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 28 (2017) 2449-2472.
  36. Chia, K.H. (2013b). How to make jobs work for the disabled. The Straits Times [Forum], p. A23.
  37. Dubai Statistics Centre (2009). Labour Force Survey 2009. Percentage distribution of economically active persons 15 years and over (employment and unemployment rate). Retrieved from https://www.dsc.gov.ae/Report/DSC_LFS_2009_01_01.pdf
  38. Dubai Statistics Centre (2017). Labour Force Survey 2017. Percentage distribution of economically active persons 15 years and over (employment and unemployment rate). Retrieved from https://www.dsc.gov.ae/Report/DSC_LFS_2017_01_02.pdf
  39. Dubai Statistics Centre (2018). Population and Vital Statistics. Number of Population Estimated by Nationality. Retrieved from https://www.dsc.gov.ae/en-us/Themes/Pages/Population-and-Vital-Statistics.aspx?Theme=42
  40. Emirates NBD. (2018, 12 December). #TogetherLimitless Careers Network. Retrieved from https://www.emiratesnbd.com/en/corporate-social-responsibility/careers-network/
  41. Emirates NBD Group. (2018). Myth vs. reality: Persons with disabilities in the workforce [White paper]. Vol. 1 2018 Dubai, UAE: White Paper Media Consulting. Retrieved from Emirates NBD: https://www.emiratesnbd.com/en/assets/File/debunking_myths_on_hiring_people_with_disability.pdf
  42. Portal of the UAE Government. (2018). Vision 2021 and Emiratisation. Scope of Vision 2021. Retrieved from: https://www.government.ae/en/information-and-services/jobs/vision-2021-and-emiratisation
  43. Supreme Legislation Committee. (2018). Official Gazette Section, General Secretariat of the Supreme Legislation Committee. Official Gazette, No. 434. Retrieved from http://ogp.dubai.gov.ae/#gazette
  44. The Tamkeen Center (n.d.). Tamkeen Center vision and mission, Retrieved from http://www.tamkeen.ae/about-us
  45. Tokenism [Def.1]. (n.d.). Oxford English Dictionaries online, Retrieved from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/tokenism
  46. UAE PM launches National Strategy for Empowering People with Disabilities (2017, April 18). Retrieved from http://wam.ae/en/details/1395302609235