Qatar Assistive Technology Centre (Mada) has launched a flight simulation lab for children with autism spectrum disorder and their parents.
The lab, an exceptional facility developed with the support of Qatar Airways, is part of Mada's innovation programme. The lab is designing and developing a realistic cabin inside the aircraft based on both virtual and augmented reality to allow autistic children and their parents a simulated experience of a flight on Qatar Airways.
The flight simulation lab provides an experience designed to relieve the stress and anxiety that afflicts parents and children with autism spectrum disorder when travelling by air, and this experience simulates a full flight, starting from safety instructions on takeoff and interaction with the ocean and the crew of the aircraft during the flight virtually and ending with the landing process.
In this regard, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker expressed his pride in providing full support to the flight simulation lab programme and joining Mada in continuing its efforts to raise awareness of autism spectrum disorder and work to create more inclusive communities both on the ground and in the air, stressing the firm commitment to take care of all passengers at all stages of their journey with Qatar Airways.
"We continue to educate our employees and crew members on how to provide support to people with autism spectrum disorder and their families in the best way and as effectively as possible,"he added.
Mada Chief Executive Maha al-Mansouri commented: "At Mada centre, we work with various partners and innovators to develop a supportive ecosystem to create technological solutions in Arabic to enhance digital access for people with disabilities and the elderly, and based on our role as a centre of excellence in digital access that leads the advancement of leading international industry practices at the global, regional and local levels, and in a distinctive and unique achievement at the level of the region and the world, we launched the flight simulation laboratory project for children with autism spectrum disorder".
She pointed out that this project will play an important role in preparing these children, their families and the surrounding environment for an integrated, comprehensive and obstacle-free experience of traveling through aviation by designing an interactive travel environment using virtual and augmented reality technology.
Al-Mansouri explained that the flight simulation lab project is one of the achievements of the Mada Innovation Programme, which leads the efforts to develop the innovation ecosystem in accessing ICT and assistive technology in order to integrate and empower people with disabilities and the elderly by launching research projects and supporting the development of the latest technological solutions that keep pace with the latest developments in digital inclusion within the framework of global digital transformation.
Dignitaries at the launch of the flight simulation lab