Hamad International Airport (HIA) has partnered with Shafallah Centre, one of Qatar Foundation for Social Work’s (QFSW) affiliated centres, to provide additional services to passengers with special needs, especially persons with autism.
HIA COO, engineer Badr Mohamed al-Meer, and QFSW CEO Amal Abdullatif al-Mannai, also the acting CEO at at Shafallah Centre, led the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Doha Monday.
Part of the agreement includes adding a special handling lounge at the HIA terminal for passengers with special needs.
Shafallah Centre will oversee the setup of the lounge to ensure the comfort and convenience of these passengers.
The lounge will feature certain aspects of a sensory room, which is a specially designed space used for the therapy for children with limited communication skills, including electronic carpets, which allow them to play games and do some activities.
Shafallah Centre will also provide specialised training for ground handling staff at HIA on how to provide special care and assistance to passengers with special needs, including those with autism.
“The signing of this important MoU marks HIA and Shafalah Centre’s keenness on providing the best services and experience to the community we serve,” al-Mannai said.
“With joint effort and working with the best international practices, we are providing HIA passengers with a very unique and dedicated lounge to persons with intellectual disabilities and autism,” she stressed.
Al-Mannai thanked al-Meer and all HIA employees for their continuous efforts to serve children with intellectual disabilities and autism and to participate in the sustainable development of the Qatari society.
In light of her support for attaining human and social development in Qatar, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser established Al Shafallah Centre for Persons with Disabilities in 1999 to provide exemplary educational and rehabilitative services to persons with mental disability and autism who are under 21 years old.
“We are continuously looking for ways to improve the travel experience for our passengers with special needs,” engineer al-Meer said. “It is a priority for us that all our customers have the same level of satisfaction when it comes to experiencing HIA’s services and facilities.”
“We are grateful and happy to have the expertise of the specialists at Shafallah to guide us through our process of making HIA a special needs friendly airport,” he added.
HIA offers barrier free access and dedicated facilities to make travelling more comfortable for passengers who require special assistance.
HIA’s network of elevators, escalators, ramps, walkways and passenger train offer simple access to Passengers with Reduced Mobility.
Airport ground staff are trained on the basics of handling and assisting customers with special needs.
The airport terminal is equipped with various conveyance facilities to assist PRM with either vertical or horizontal circulation, featuring smooth level thresholds with controls and mounted within easy reach.
Special handling lounges are available in the terminal for the comfort of passengers who require special assistance, offering comfortable seating with the assistance of trained attendants.
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