Fatma Al Jassim credits the forward-looking approach of the United Arab Emirates in promoting inclusion for persons with disabilities, known in the country as persons of determination. As a young disability activist, she brought a message of inclusion to EXPO 2020 in Dubai, where she spoke with the UN Commissioner-General Maher Nasser.
Fatma Al Jassim credits the forward-looking approach of the United Arab Emirates and in particular its leadership for inclusive conditions for persons with disabilities in the country, where they are known as persons of determination.
As host to EXPO 2020, the UAE created the most inclusive and accessible such event in history. Fatma Al Jassim stopped by the United Nations Hub where she spoke with UN Commissioner-General Maher Nasser about the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Her advocacy includes changing the 'superhero' and 'victim' narrative - two extremes - and empowering persons with disabilities/of determination as individuals in their own right.
"The term 'people of determination' centres around focusing on capabilities and empowering those with disabilities rather than focusing on their deficits," she explains. "It was just a shift that the leadership thought about to remove some layers of stigma away from people of determination. And I think, in reality, we are all people of determination. Determination is important not only to survive but to thrive."