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ubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has upgraded all its buildings to be fully compliant with the Dubai Universal Design Code making its customer Happiness Centres easily accessible by People of Determination. Image Credit:

Dubai: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has upgraded all its buildings to be fully compliant with the Dubai Universal Design Code. All Customer Happiness Centres are easily accessible by People of Determination, DEWA said on Friday.

DEWA has redesigned all of its facilities and buildings to be People of Determination-friendly in all emergencies by placing audio and visual alarms, alarms in toilets, and evacuation wheelchairs on all floors. DEWA also has a helpline for them in parking areas, wheelchair service, directional tactile paving for the visually-impaired, staff trained in sign language, service priority, screens for remote video chat, booklets in Braille, and other services to streamline transactions by People of Determination.

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National policy

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, DEWA managing director and CEO, noted: “DEWA’s pioneering experience in including and empowering People of Determination aligns with the national policy to empower People of Determination, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to create an inclusive society that ensures empowerment and a decent life for People of Determination and their families.”

“It also supports the ‘My Community ... a City for Everyone’ initiative, launched by 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 city that is accessible for People of Determination,” he added.

DEWA currently has 6,137 employees trained to deal with People of Determination and 22 employees have earned sign language diplomas. DEWA currently has 29 Employees of Determination with various disabilities. Their happiness score was 99 per cent and their families’ happiness was 96 per cent in 2020.

Customers of Determination scored their happiness with DEWA’s inclusive services at 95 per cent and society happiness towards DEWA’s support for People of Determination was 94 per cent last year.

Inclusive access

DEWA has smart systems and supporting services to enable inclusive access to different facilities, including Braille mas and hearing loops.

DEWA provides interactive maps with an audio notification to provide People of Determination with information and directions to reach their destinations inside DEWA’s buildings. The maps include Braille writing and embossed letters to make them easier to read. These maps are located in all DEWA’s building entrances.

DEWA also uses hearing loop technology, which is an advanced hearing aid technology design to assist people with hearing disabilities. The hearing loops transmit sounds through electromagnetic waves so sounds reach the user clearly and are noise-free. Those loops are available at all Customer Happiness Centres, training halls and meeting rooms at DEWA’s buildings.

DEWA has developed an innovative solution for Customers of Determination who use hearing aids or cochlear implants. They can use the telepresence system on video chat screens equipped with hearing loops that improve sound quality and filter out background noise. The new system improves the quality of sound to ensure seamless transactions by People of Determination with hearing impairments.

Smart channels

To provide seamless access to information for Customers of Determination through its website, DEWA has smart app, and customer care centre, according to Smart Dubai Government standards.

DEWA also launched several innovative and smart initiatives that support and empower People of Determination and make it easier to access information. DEWA has a dedicated section on its website to include and empower People of Determination. There is also Ash’ir video service using sign language, for those with hearing disabilities, to communicate directly with its customer care centre.