Posted on January 26, 2017

Continuing to promote awareness about accessibility, Sasol, the international integrated chemicals and energy company, with the support of the Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, conducted Accessibility Awareness and Audit Training to teams from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Ministry of Public Health, the Qatar National Commission and Qatar Petroleum in support of Accessible Qatar initiative. The two-day workshop took place on 22-23 January at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

Jennifer Stirling, Sasol’s Accessibility Consultant, lead the workshop and shed light on the models of disability and the various barriers of access and how to identify them in the venues. Moreover, Stirling and the attendees conducted a live audit at The Ministry of Education and Higher Education and thoroughly discussed the findings attained. This training will enable representatives of the ministries present at the workshop to conduct accessibility audits in the education and health sectors venues in Qatar. At the present time, 80 locations around Qatar, ranging from hotels and retail locations to touristic places have been audited. With this training, Sasol aims at covering more sectors and increasing the audited venues to be included in Accessible Qatar app and website.

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Dr. Hamda Al Sulaiti, Secretary General of the Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science said: “We are pleased to be supporting Sasol with the Accessible Qatar initiative. It is crucial for government officials to be fully aware of the importance of building an inclusive society in Qatar. Through these audits, we will be able to ensure that the accessibility information of all of the facilities in the education and health sectors are available for the disabled community in the country. Sasol is playing a key role to that end and we are proud to support what has been achieved so far, thanks to Accessible Qatar.”

This workshop is among a series of planned training events to be conducted also to other sectors in the country. Sasol recently presented an Accessibility workshop to the British Council during their annual Diversity Week for students and staff.  The students of the British Council have started in contributing to the application’s user submitted reviews.

Commenting on the workshop, Phinda Vilakazi, President of GTL Ventures at Sasol said: “Sasol is proud of the ongoing success that the Accessible Qatar initiative has achieved. We believe in the power of an inclusive society; and accessibility is an important element that plays a huge role in achieving this essential target. Through these audit workshops, Sasol is contributing towards benefiting the local society by promoting the importance and value of accessibility, in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030. We thank Dr. Hamda Al Sulaiti, Secretary General of the Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science for facilitating this training and inviting the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and Ministry of Public Health to attend and support, and we will continue to work together towards empowering the disabled community in Qatar.”

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Accessible Qatar, which builds on Sasol’s ongoing Definitely Able Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, grew out of an engaging session called “Finding the Accessible Doha” during the Definitely Able Conference in March 2015. Accessible Qatar is a smartphone application and website, the first of its kind in the region providing the disabled community instant and reliable information about the accessibility of public and touristic locations in Qatar.  Combining expertly-audited data with user-submitted reviews and ratings, Accessible Qatar gives the disabled community and tourists the confidence to visit different accessible destinations. Moreover, having accessibility information publicly available on Accessible Qatar will encourage venues to make necessary modifications in support of accessibility for all patrons.

Sasol has recently partnered with Project Qatar, the leading construction exhibition in Qatar, in order to raise awareness around accessibility and to encourage project developers to make their existing and future venues accessible. Sasol and Project Qatar will also introduce a two-day “Accessible Qatar Conference” on 8 and 9 May 2017, and the “Accessible Qatar Awards” for most accessible venues in Qatar on 9 May 2017. The Accessible Qatar app is available for download free of charge on App Store, Google Play store, Windows Phone Store and on the website (www.AccessibleQatar.com). More information can be found on the Definitely Able social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), where users can be kept updated on the latest developments.

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