Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) Hassan al-Thawadi said Qatar seeks to make the 2022 World Cup the most comprehensive tournament in the history of sporting events, in order to leave a sustainable legacy by reaching out to all segments of society, especially people with disabilities.
Al-Thawadi was speaking at the opening of the second Accessibility Forum, launched by the SC with the aim to provide people with disabilities the opportunity to give advice on their special requirements during Qatar 2022 World Cup and beyond.
He said host countries of major sporting events and championships have always sought to make these championships comprehensive and available to all. “The international tournaments and the previous Olympic Games have left us a legacy on which we are building today, seeking the Qatar 2022 World Cup to be the most comprehensive tournament in the history of sporting events.”
Over the past year, partners of the Accessibility Forum have achieved many accomplishments, most notably the adoption of a guideline on how to use transportation from and to Hamad International Airport for people with disabilities, the training of airport staff and hotels on appropriate ways to deal with persons with disabilities, and engaging persons with disabilities in the 2022 World Cup Volunteer Programme, he noted.
Al-Thawadi underlined that the most important achievement was the role played by the Accessibility Forum as a platform for meetings between state institutions that carry out major projects and persons with disabilities. “This forum allowed us to work closely with everyone, enabled all forum partners to listen to proposals, evaluate procedures and learn how to develop designs and facilities so that they are accessible to all without hindrance or discontent”.
Meanwhile, Director of the Technical Department at the Ministry of Transport and Communications Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalid al-Thani said the Ministry is committed to providing a comprehensive transport system that is accessible to all members of the community, with the support and guidance of HE the Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti.
Addressing the second Accessibility Forum, Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalid said the ministry has carried out a study on facilitating and enabling access to public transport. “A number of initiatives have been implemented in this regard, the most important of which are the development of new specifications for the bus fleet, which can be easily accessible to people with disabilities, in addition to a number of workshops, survey campaigns and questionnaire with the concerned authorities and persons with disabilities aimed at identifying their needs and addressing the challenges. The ministry also carried out a study to check the facilities of the public transport network throughout the country in order to see what can be added of features and new specifications that enable access and use of transportation more easily.”
In the communications sector, the ministry mandated Mada Assistive Technology Center to undertake various initiatives on the empowerment and integration of people with disabilities in Qatar, such as the launch of a government portal for people with disabilities, the preparation of services in many areas, organising specialised training for government agencies and the private sector to raise awareness of how to deal with people with disabilities and serve them, and designing websites and applications for people with disabilities.