Dubai: EXPO 2020 visitors with hearing impairments get a special service, thanks to Dubai Police.
Mohammad Jamal Al Nahdi and Hazaa Mohammed Ahmed from Dubai Police and other members from the People of Determination Council are going all out to ensure that people of determination visiting Expo 2020 Dubai feel very welcome as they employ the American Sign Language (ASL). The initiative follows special instructions by Lt Gen Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, commander-in-chief of Dubai Police.
Al Nahdi and Ahmed who actively engage with the special visitors, leave no questions unanswered. The first officers in the UAE to become proficient in this context, they have done a three-year diploma in sign language.
Warrant officer Class 1 Al Mahdi said he is on a six-month duty to communicate with special visitors at Expo 2020 Dubai.
“It is a humanitarian mission to help people of determination in this global event. We don’t sit in offices or in a specific places, but we walk around the site round the clock to help them,” said Al Nahdi.
The special officers can be identified through their green special vests with a badge that says ‘Sign Language Interpreter’.
“Sometimes we receive calls from the command centre when they receive a call from a person of determination to provide help. Many times, we walk in groups and people identify us and ask for help.”
The sign language team deal with around 20 to 30 people of determination per day at Expo 2020.
Corporal Hazaa Ahmed said his job is very satisfying.
“A lot of these people are pleasantly surprised when we approach them. That smile or greeting we get from them is very gratifying,” Ahmed said.
“Many visitors of determination feel comfortable when we walk with them and provide them special tickets to ease their visits to pavilions by avoiding queues. We want people to be happy at Expo 2020,” he added.
The sign language programme aligns with a police strategy that is aimed at providing equal opportunities to people of determination.
It aims at empowering people of determination, and the ‘My Community…A City for Everyone’ initiative, which aims to make Dubai a disability-friendly destination.