SEDRA launches UAE’s first internship program for young adults with disabilities

By Info Salons Group, 12 February, 2016

Dubai, February 4, 2016:  In preparation for AccessAbilities Expo 2016, SEDRA Foundation yesterday launched the first Internship Program for young adults with disabilities, which will run for the duration of the Expo from February 9th-11th. Work experiences will include welcoming guests, aiding registration, ushering, and assisting throughout the Expo. With the great support of Info Salons Middle East & Turkey, this is the first time that persons with disabilities have been included in the ground operations. It is particularly appropriate since AccessAbilities is showcasing services and products for persons with disabilities.

AccessAbilities Expo 2016 is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, with the aim of facilitating inclusion and integration of more than 50 million people with disabilities across the Middle East. The 3-day Expo is being organised by Reed Exhibitions Middle East and Nadd AlShiba PR & Event Management.

Reem Al Fahim, CEO of SEDRA Foundation, an Abu Dhabi hub for the most current research and best practices for the inclusion of persons with disabilities, said “Internship programs are very important to develop vocational skills of young adults with disabilities through real work life practical experiences that help them explore and improve their latent abilities, self-confidence, and interpersonal skills paving the way to successful careers and independence. A total of 11 interns are participating in this program:  5 from Abu Dhabi and 6 from Dubai." Equipped with comprehensive skills about interactions with customers acquired through  the  intense customized SEDRA training, they will work in a UAE Intern All Star Team.

SEDRA also provided a disability etiquette training for REED Exhibitions staff who are organizing and managing the Expo. Dedicated to empowering persons with disabilities during the Expo and beyond, feedback from Reed staff who attended the training was very positive with one REED employee saying "The greatest benefit was learning how not to restrict your perception of persons with disabilities."

The impact of SEDRA’s inclusive training is however not confined to this event, but will resonate to all other events in the UAE by changing the approach and standard for inclusion.

Info Salons Middle East & Turkey, a leading event technology company in the region and the registration partner of AccessAbilities Expo, is well aware of the necessity to encourage and involve people with disabilities in working environment as well.  Wilbert Heijmans, Managing Director of Info Salons Middle East & Turkey says, “We are very glad to partner with Reed Exhibitions and SEDRA in this praiseworthy project. Info Salons will integrate young adults with disabilities in the onsite registration process at AccessAbilities Expo as a part of their Internship program, giving them the opportunity to experience real working conditions. Our goal is to inspire young adults with disabilities to aspire more from their lives as well as to challenge other companies in the Middle East to follow our example.” 

Source: Info-Salons