The Public Parks and Recreational Facilities Department in Dubai Municipality has been awarded the Autism-Friendly Certificate (AFC) for the category of Recreational Facilities to acknowledge the Dubai Frame, Children’s City, and Quranic Park as the first recreational facilities certified as autism-friendly in the region.
We are proud that Dubai Municipality has obtained the Autism-Friendly certificates as the first facility in the Middle East to obtain this,
“This is a reflection of the Municipality’s efforts and its keen interest in People of Determination, and following up on their needs to meet them to the fullest, in line with the vision of our wise government to transform the Emirate of Dubai into a friendly city for People of Determination,” he said.
“Dubai Municipality seeks to provide the highest levels of care and the best services, which ensure that People of Determination can easily spend their time in our facilities that are distinguished by modernity and quality. We are also keen to enhance our community responsibility in supporting various initiatives that empower People of Determination with autism and help their integration into society,” added Al Hajri.
Mohammed Al Emadi, Director General and Board Member of the Dubai Autism Center (DAC) said: “We extend our thanks and appreciation to the Public Parks and Recreational Facilities Department in Dubai Municipality for their keenness to enhance the benefit of people with autism from the services they seek in their modern facilities, just like others,”
Al Emadi called upon the government and private establishments to follow the example of distinguished entities in providing appropriate environments for the People with autism to enable them and integrate them into society.
He emphasized that the program seeks to achieve the goals of the National Autism Policy, and the initiative of “My Community, A Place For Everyone” in light of the awareness objectives of Decree No. (26) of 2021 issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Regarding the evaluation procedures, Dr. Nicholas Orland, Chief Program Officer at Dubai Autism Centre, revealed that the Organizing Committee of the Autism-Friendly Program arranged a number of workshops and field visits for the Dubai Frame, Children’s City, and Quranic Park. Based on the evaluation and inspection of the criteria for achieving a safe and friendly environment for people with autism, the Dubai Municipality was awarded the Autism-Friendly Certificate (AFC) for the recreational facilities category.
Eman Abushabab, Community Outreach Manager at the Dubai Autism Center, said: “The program’s organizing committee worked with the Public Parks and Recreational Facilities Department in Dubai Municipality for a period of four months to train their employees, and based on our field audits to review and scrutinize the criteria for achieving a safe and autism-friendly environment, the conditions for granting the certificate were verified,”
Abushabab explained: “Entities that have Autism-Friendly Certificate (AFC) are subject to evaluation once a year, in addition to conducting a questionnaire about the level of customer satisfaction and studies based on the mystery shopper approach, usually represented by people with autism and their families. Based on this evaluation, the validity of the classification will be approved for a similar year,”
It is noteworthy that the DAC launched the Autism-Friendly program in September this year as a first of its kind initiative in the region aimed at certifying the role model of organizations in the public and private sectors and encouraging the community to embrace higher accessibility standards for individuals with autism.