Expo 2020 Dubai Receives International Accreditation As Sensory Accessible Event

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Expo 2020 Dubai receives international accreditation as Sensory Accessible Event

DUBAI, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News / WAM - 01st Apr, 2021) Expo 2020 Dubai has become the first event in the middle East, North Africa and Asia region – and the first ever World Expo – to be certified as a Sensory Accessible Event.

The International Board of Sensory Accessibility (IBSA) certification was presented to Expo 2020 by Sensory Access – the body responsible for assessing Expo’s vast and integrated accessibility measures – at an event to mark World Autism Awareness Day on 2nd April, held at Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion.

Dr Jennifer Camulli, Manager – Accessibility and Inclusion, Expo 2020 Dubai, said, "Expo 2020 Dubai has engaged with multiple community organisations since its early planning stages to introduce provisions that enable everyone to enjoy a safe, seamless and exceptional visitor experience. As the first World Expo in the Arab world, we are proud that our measures meet IBSA standards, setting a new benchmark for sensory accessibility in the UAE and serving as a model for the Middle East and beyond.

"We celebrate this achievement on the eve of World Autism Awareness Day with those who share Expo’s belief that only when we accept and involve people of determination can we truly be inclusive. We look forward to welcoming many people of determination when Expo 2020 opens its doors to the world on 1s October, 2021."

The certification meets the requirements set by IBSA – the international body that has established the most comprehensive sensory accessibility standards – and builds on Expo 2020’s admittance earlier this year to the Valuable 500, a collective of global businesses and corporations dedicated to business inclusivity.

Dr. Daniela Ferdico, Co-Founder and Director, Sensory Access, said: "Sensory Access is incredibly excited to certify a World Expo as a Sensory Accessible Event for the first time in history. Working closely with Sensory Access’ neurodiverse board, Expo 2020 has taken huge steps towards providing accessibility to autistic and sensory sensitive individuals, whose invisible disabilities are often not considered, at an international event with global impact.

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Moving beyond awareness and focusing on autism acceptance, the event welcomed inspirational speakers who advocate for change for people of determination. Guests were also treated to a low-sensory tour of the Sustainability Pavilion, where artworks by Asma Baker and Abdulla Lutfi, Emirati artists on the autism spectrum, were on display.

Among measures introduced to cater to those with sensory difficulties, Expo offers four on-site Quiet Rooms for visitors experiencing sensory overload or anxiety, while social stories will be downloadable from the Expo 2020 website, sharing sensory information on the wide array of Expo visitor experiences. ‘Sunflower Lanyards’ will also be provided for those who wish to discreetly signal that they have a hidden disability.

In addition, the PODium app, developed in collaboration with SAP, an Official Premier Partner of Expo 2020, was specifically designed to help people of determination navigate Expo, with features such as 3D visual mapping, audio navigation and haptic (touch) feedback.

Other measures include 14 tactile maps with embossed images of the surrounding area, audio output and braille; 3D tactile models of Expo’s flagship architecture; scannable codes for self-guided experiences narrated through sign language, audio description and written captions; hearing induction loops; and service dog relief areas.

Expo is committed to creating opportunities for the UAE’s people of determination, working in collaboration with the Ministry of Community Development to empower them through meaningful employment opportunities that build their professional skillset and work experience portfolio.

Tickets to Expo 2020 Dubai will be available free of charge for all people of determination, and at half price for their companion. Accessibility will be on the agenda during the Expo as part of Expo Talks: Tolerance and Inclusivity, a series of thematic programming that addresses key global issues.