Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is strategic sponsor of the AccessAbilities Expo, which was organised in line with the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to promote social service as well as the ‘My Community... A City for Everyone’ initiative launched by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, to transform Dubai into a fully disability-friendly city by 2020. The AccessAbilities Expo held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Airports. At the AccessAbilities Expo, DEWA’s stand will showcase services dedicated to individuals with disabilities, and educate their families on the benefits of these services. The Expo was opened by Jamal Al Hai, Deputy CEO of International Affairs & Corporate Communication at Dubai International Airport.
HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), noted that DEWA is inspired by the government’s approach towards those with disabilities and includes the wellbeing of people with disabilities among its priorities. This is part of DEWA’s vision to become a sustainable innovative world-class utility. DEWA’s commitment to the wellbeing of those with special needs supports the UAE Vision 2021 and Dubai Plan 2021 to transform the Emirate to become an inclusive community.
“We show our support to people with disabilities by involving the community in active programmes, initiatives, and campaigns to develop positive ways of supporting everyone with diability as a community, and to improve the services we offer them, while adhering to a strategy that fully conforms and complies with the highest international standards. This reflects our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and our efforts to further integrate those with disabilities into society, while finding new solutions to overcome the daily challenges they face and further involve them in our community efforts as individuals who are able to innovate and create,” said Al Tayer.
“DEWA has developed well-formulated strategies and procedures to meet the needs of those with disabilities. In 2014, we launched the Ash'ir Initiative which enables individuals with special needs to communicate directly with call centre staff via instant visual communication technologies, using sign language as a means of dialogue. We are the first government organisation in the UAE to launch this service. We continuously update our website and smart apps to bring ease-of-use to those in the special needs category,” added Al Tayer.
“DEWA recently won the Princess Haya Award for Special Education (PHASE) which was established by HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to raise the standard of services provided for the care and rehabilitation of individuals with special needs. DEWA takes pride in its ongoing efforts to support and sponsor charitable initiatives and events. We annually support institutions such as the Rashid Centre for the Disabled, and provide the opportunity for children with disabilities to perform Umrah. We also support the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre and the Dubai Autism Centre by raising funds for new building developments. DEWA’s sponsorship efforts are in line with its social services strategy, recognised in October 2015, when DEWA received the MVO 8000 Certification in Social Responsibility, and a high score in ISO 26000 Guidelines in Social Responsibility,” said Al Tayer.
The AccessAbilities Expo will contribute greatly to Dubai’s reputation for caring for those with disabilities and their further integration into society. The expo will provide a platform for other government departments and organisations to discover new smart solutions, technologies and services offered by other global institutions. The exhibition is organised for the first time in Dubai. From robotics, special purpose computers, specialised software for communications to inclusive learning material and aids, prosthetics, positioning devices and other assistive and rehabilitative technologies, AccessAbilities 2016 will present the latest smart technologies that can lead individuals with disabilities towards better and more independent lives.