DEWA integrating and empowering People of Determination

Wednesday 07 August 2019
Dubai - MENA Herald:

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is a socially-responsible government organisation that is working to achieve the vision of the wise leadership by integrating and empowering People of Determination in society. This is done through numerous initiatives, programmes, and services based on well-defined plans and strategies aligned with the best global practices and standards. DEWA helps People of Determination to integrate and achieve their happiness by creating and providing a qualified and flexible environment that allows them to unleash their capabilities and potential and fully integrate them in society. This also helps find new ways to involve them in their social environment as capable and creative individuals. These efforts have contributed to raising Social Happiness about DEWA’s role as an organisation that supports People of Determination to 90.26% in 2018.

“DEWA derives its strategy and work plans from the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. We are committed to our corporate social responsibility to contribute to achieving the UAE Vision 2021 to preserve a cohesive society that is proud of its identity and sense of belonging, and the Dubai Plan 2021 for Dubai to be a city of happy, creative, and empowered people who live in an inclusive and cohesive society,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

“We are committed to meeting the requirements of everyone in society, especially People of Determination. This supports the National Policy to empower People of Determination, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 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 His Highness 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 by 2020. DEWA adopts a strategy for the happiness and inclusion of People of Determination, and promotes their employment. Our work environment is easily accessible for them and supports their needs. DEWA also provides excellent services for customers who are People of Determination,” added Al Tayer.

Integrating and empowering People of Determination

DEWA is committed to integrating and empowering People of Determination in four ways: employees, customers, society, and partners. To achieve this, DEWA formed an Advisory Council for People of Determination with members from all DEWA’s divisions and departments. It also includes staff representatives who are People of Determination. The Council undertakes several tasks, including aligning DEWA’s strategy with local and federal strategies for People of Determination and working closely with key government organisations that lead the government agenda in integrating and empowering them. The Council also ensures appropriate community support through community initiatives for People of Determination and ensuring that all DEWA’s services for them meet approved government standards and best international practices.

DEWA has launched many programmes and initiatives that contribute to integrating People of Determination in society and the workplace. It has redesigned its Customer Happiness Centres to be easily accessible for them according to Dubai Universal Design Code and other international standards such as BSI8300. This ensures a seamless and integrating environment for People of Determination. DEWA’s buildings have been equipped to be ready for all emergencies by placing audio and visual alarms, alarms in toilets, and evacuation wheelchairs on all floors.

All of DEWA’s centres provide many services for People of Determination. These include free valet parking, wheelchair service, dedicated parking spaces, directional tactile paving for the visually-impaired, staff trained in sign language, dedicated comprehensive service desks, and conservation-tip booklets, locations and working hours of DEWA’s Customer Happiness Centres in Braille. A video about DEWA’s key services in sign language is also played on screens at the Customer Happiness Centres. These are some of the facilities that DEWA provide to streamline transactions by people of determination.

Inclusive employment for people of determination:

“DEWA’s top management attaches great importance to People of Determination who are customers or employees, through programmes and initiatives that are aligned with the highest standards and best practices worldwide. DEWA has policies and procedures that ensure that People of Determination are employed in suitable positions and integrated into the work environment, and they have equal employment opportunities with others in an environment that gives them to show their potential and prove their capabilities. DEWA is committed to developing the skills and capabilities of its staff who are people of determination through training programmes based on the highest international standards. Between 2015 and 2018, DEWA organised 273 training courses for Employees of Determination. The Absher Office at DEWA provides all required support to them during the inclusive employment journey from recruitment until retirement,” said Dr Yousef Al Akraf, Executive Vice President of Business Support and Human Resources, and Chairman of DEWA’s Advisory Council for People of Determination.

Integrating People of Determination into the workplace

DEWA is committed to achieving the happiness of its Employees of Determination and helping them deal with personal and psychological pressures through Estisharati Service. DEWA also provides all occupational health and safety measures. DEWA trains friends of Employees of Determination, and members of the Absher team in First Aid and evacuation processes for People of Determination, and provides a trained and qualified colleague to support each Employee of Determination.

By the end of 2018, DEWA had trained 439 members of staff to assist People of Determination in emergencies, with 214 employees trained to use evacuation wheelchairs. DEWA organised 11 mock evacuation exercises in all its administrative buildings in cooperation with Dubai Police and the General Directorate of Civil Defence in Dubai.

DEWA provides work tools and supporting devices that help people of determination in their work such as wheelchairs, audio devices for the visually impaired, and hearing aids for people with hearing disabilities. DEWA is also keen to integrate its people of determination employees in various activities and events it organises throughout the year.

Smart and innovative services

DEWA is committed to providing seamless access to information for Customers of Determination through its website and smart app according to Smart Dubai Government standards. DEWA launched several innovative and smart initiatives to support and empower People of Determination and streamline their access to information, such as making its website and smart app more accessible for them.

DEWA’s website ranked first in 2016 and 2017 at 92% according to Smart Dubai Government. The website accessibility measures include colour change to suit colour-blind customers; ability to increase font size to facilitate reading for people with visual impairment; text-to-speech; image description, which enables customers with special needs to click on the image to get its details; and shortcut feature that reduces the size of readable materials and facilitates navigation between the pages. DEWA’s smart app supports most platforms and features the latest technologies available on handsets and smartphones, including the ability to change the screen colour to suit needs of customers with visual impairment.

Sign language

DEWA launched Ash’ir, which enables people with hearing difficulties to directly communicate with call centre staff via video chat using sign language around the clock. DEWA, with the participation of the UAE Deaf Association and the Community Development Authority, developed the service and trained 15 staff to communicate in sign language. 9 DEWA staff received diplomas in sign language. DEWA is the first government organisation in the UAE to launch this pioneering service for using sign language through its smart app. DEWA also provides the Hayak written and visual communication service through its website.

Rammas Service

DEWA provides all its services through Rammas, its virtual employee based on artificial intelligence (AI) that is available around the clock through its smart app, website, and Facebook page. DEWA recently added an instant voice chat feature in Arabic and English for Rammas through its smart app that allows customers to verbally address their queries to Rammas and get an immediate reply.

Innovation in voluntary work

In February 2017, HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of People of Determination, opened DEWA’s Innovation Centre at the Dubai Rehabilitation Centre for People of Determination in Al Qusais. The centre provides over 150 students with disabilities with training in modern technologies. It ensures a positive innovative educational environment, empowering them to get engaged in all kinds of social activities to become creative and innovative individuals. DEWA aims to provide students with a self-learning experience in which they can deal with advanced devices like robots. This enhances their abilities in creativity and innovation, and provides students with educational opportunities to enter the job market. The centre’s idea received the UAE Ideas Award for promoting voluntary and humanitarian work at the 6th UAE Ideas Conference & Award, which was organised by Dubai Quality Group.

Supporting initiatives and programmes that integrate and empower people of determination

Each year, DEWA supports various initiatives and programmes that integrate and empower People of Determination. Between 2015 and 2018, DEWA supported 37 community-based initiatives and sponsorships with 24 sponsorships and 13 community initiatives, with over three million benefitting. DEWA sponsors the annual AccessAbilities Expo, which provides a platform for government organisations to learn about the latest technologies, solutions and smart services, provided by international organisations.

Awards and recognitions

DEWA’s CSR efforts contributed to achieving important local and international achievements, including the ‘People of Determination Friendly Government Entity’ award at the 21st Dubai Government Excellence Program. DEWA also received the Princess Haya Award for Special Education (PHASE) 2019 in CSR Excellence. It also received the MVO8000 in CSR, becoming the first government organisation in Dubai to receive this global standard.

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