Middle East Dec 9, 2016
DUBAI: Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD amp; CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), inaugurated on Tuesday the 1st Annual Conference for People with Disabilities, organized by DEWA under the theme ‘Inspiring Stories and Challenges’ Ahmed Abdul Karim Julfar, Director-General of the Community Development Authority (CDA), was present during the inauguration.
The conference was attended by a delegation including senior managers from CDA, people with disabilities, officials from the government and private institutions, as well as Executive Vice Presidents and Vice Presidents, and senior staff from DEWA.
The conference supports DEWA’s strategy to empower people with disabilities and contribute to integrating them into society as individuals who are capable of innovation and creativity. A number of people with disabilities shared their inspiring stories in overcoming disabilities. It also highlighted a number of innovations for inclusion of people with disabilities in society, and discussed difficulties facing people with disabilities in the work environment.
In his opening speech, Al Tayer noted that the 1st Annual Conference for People with Disabilities, which is organized by DEWA, “supports the attention that Dubai Government gives to people with disabilities, who play a prominent role in building and developing the society.”
“The conference supports the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister of and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to make Dubai a role model for involving people with disabilities by providing them with all the necessary services to strengthen their position as an effective element in society. It also supports the ?My Community A City for Everyone’ initiative, launched by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, to transform Dubai into a fully disability-friendly city by 2020, and the Dubai Disability Strategy 2020, to make Dubai an inclusive city for people with disabilities,” said Al Tayer.
He noted that DEWA launched the Absher initiative to support and care for its staff with disabilities. It includes a dedicated team of HR specialists and a hotline to assist them with their paperwork.
“DEWA also launched the Omniyati initiative to accomplish the wishes of its staff whose disabilities prevented them from fulfilling those wishes, and has done so for ten of its staff. DEWA also supports the Sanad smart cards to provide services and amenities for people with disabilities. These include valet-parking at all DEWA branches, providing wheelchairs, Maraheb services, and priority to be served.”
“DEWA works closely with several government and private organizations to provide world-class service infrastructure that allows people with disabilities to easily access facilities and use services. We also provide supportive social services, and enhance social awareness to further integrate people with disabilities into society. DEWA participated in the AccessAbilities Expo, where it showed some of its services dedicated to individuals with disabilities,” Al Tayer said.
Al Tayer and Julfar presented trophies to the speakers at the conference, who included Majid Al Osaimi, President of the Asian Paralympic Committee, Vice President of the UAE Disabled Sports Federation, and Executive Director at the Dubai Club for the Disabled, Raul Krauthausen from Germany, Dr. Muna Al Hammadi, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Human Sciences of Zayed University, and Mohammed Khamis, winner of several gold, silver, and bronze medals in many international championships.
Al Tayer also honored government, federal and local agencies and private organisations that participated in the exhibition organized during the 1st Annual Conference for People with Disabilities. This included projects and products for students with disabilities, and a number of distinguished services to people with disabilities. The list included the Ministry for Community Development, Zayed Agriculture Centre for Development and Rehabilitation, Rashid Centre for the Disabled, Dubai Autism Centre, Ajman Rehabilitation Centre for the Disabled, and the Moeen Centre for Assistive Technology.
During the conference, DEWA presented a video about its services to help people with disabilities, and another video about its Omniyati initiative to fulfill the wishes of employees with disabilities.
The 1st Annual Conference for People with Disabilities included a session, call ‘Story of Will,’ by Majid Al Osaimi. Khamis gave a presentation on ?Reaching the Top.’ Dr. Al Hammadi talked about difficulties facing people with disabilities in the work environment. Raul Krauthausen talked about ?Disability Mainstreaming: Innovations for Inclusion from Germany.’ “DEWA gives priority to employees and customers with disabilities by launching programmes and initiatives that adhere to best international practices and standards. This reflects DEWA’s commitment to its Corporate Social Responsibility, and further integrating people with disabilities in society,” said Dr. Yousef Al Akraf, Executive Vice President of Business Support and Human Resources at DEWA.
DEWA is also committed to employing people with disabilities in the positions that suit them according to the employment procedures and criteria. A dedicated team in the HR department provides support to employees with special needs through the Absher initiative, which DEWA launched to help its employees with special needs, he added.