Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), yesterday launched the Ash'ir (Arabic for ‘to signal') service to support speech- and hearing-impaired customers.
The new service adheres to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai and the U.A.E. into a hub for humanitarian work and to promote community service to add to the welfare of citizens and residents.
The service also complements ‘My community... A City for Everyone' initiative launched by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, which aims to make the whole of Dubai a disabled-friendly city by 2020 by supporting and enhancing the Emirate's current efforts to enable people with disabilities.
Ash'ir is the first government service in the U.A.E. to cater to the speech- and hearing-impaired.
"Launching this service supports the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to upgrade governmental services into new horizons of excellence and creativity, and to develop and launch new smart services that facilitate and expedite procedures, save customers' time and effort, and bring happiness to all customer categories.
"In line with its corporate social responsibility and our keenness to reach all segments of society, Dewa is very keen to support people with special needs. We do our best to reach them through the most convenient ways for them as they are an integral part of the sustainable development of Dubai," said Al Tayer
Ash'ir is a ‘live' video chat service using sign language that enables people with disabilities to communicate directly with Dewa's call centre staff.
This pioneering service is available on Dewa's smart app on iOS and Android, which offers over 150 services and features round the clock.
Dewa, in collaboration with the Community Development Authority (CDA) in Dubai, recently graduated the first group of its customer service staff on using sign language to prepare them for the Ash'ir service to help the hearing and speech impaired.
Another group is currently undergoing training on live video chatting using sign language.