Dubai to be world’s friendliest place for the disabled

Dubai, Feb 6 (IANS/WAM) Government bodies in Dubai are stepping up efforts into making the city the world’s friendliest place for the disabled by increasing their services aimed at catering to the needs of their customers with disabilities.

According to government officials on Friday, the new initiatives include Smart Gate Special Counters at the airports, guidelines in Braille, government staff trained in sign language to support those with hearing and speech impairment, ease of wheelchair access in buildings, parks, transport facilities, government offices and other places and parking facilities close to the centres.

Sami Al Qamzi, Director General, Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, said: “We have formed a special team to make DED and its institutions disabled-friendly entities in order to ensure that the design and facilities inside the buildings allow people having disabilities to use the services and move around with ease.”

Al Qamzi noted that DED’s frontline staff is well equipped to deal with persons with disabilities, and have been trained in sign-language and trained staff assists people having disabilities at all customer service centers.

Meanwhile Dubai Municipality, which has been actively working towards providing facilities such as floating wheel chairs at beach areas, easy access to public areas and its service centres, will highlight community initiatives and the facilities it has introduced toward attaining the Vision 2020 at AccessAbilities Expo taking place from February 9 to 11 as well.

Dubai Health Authority Hamid Mohamed Al Qatami, Chairman and Director General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), said Dubai has proved itself to be a successful universal model in dealing with people with disabilities.

It also completed a set of regulations that ensure full support for people with disabilities, integrating them in the society and areas where they can be gainfully employed and contribute effectively in the development and prosperity of Dubai.

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