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Modern technologies and accompanying specialists.. An exceptional experience for fans with special needs in the World Cup stadiums

A long-term legacy of ease of access and movement across the country was provided by the State of Qatar for people with special needs during the Qatar World Cup 2022, in order to grant this segment of society the right to enjoy not only the World Cup matches, but also the accompanying events.

Promoting ease of access and movement for people with disabilities in the 2022 World Cup went beyond simply providing basic infrastructure that meets the needs of this group of fans, to include providing all means to ensure that everyone feels welcome and participates effectively in this global event.

The sensory assistance rooms were among the most prominent new products offered to fans with autism and sensory perception difficulties, to enable them to enjoy attending the World Cup matches, under the supervision of a team of experts in 3 of the World Cup stadiums: Al-Bayt, Lusail and Education City.

These rooms provide a space specially equipped with modern technology and lighting suitable for this category of fans, to ease their feelings of turmoil and anxiety that they may experience during the matches, making the Qatar World Cup the most accessible version in the history of the tournament, with special facilities and services that meet all the needs of people with disabilities.

One of the sensory assistance rooms for people with special needs in the Qatar World Cup (Al-Jazeera)

Khaled Al-Nama, Executive Director of Community Outreach and Commercial Affairs at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, believes that availability, ease of access, and movement came at the forefront of the committee’s concerns during the preparation phase to host the Qatar World Cup 2022, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 and the FIFA Sustainability Strategy (FIFA). FIFA).

Al-Nama pointed out the Supreme Committee’s keenness, through working with the Empowerment Forum, which includes representatives of people with disabilities, to provide them with the opportunity to contribute a direct role in determining the services and facilities they need during the tournament, and how the World Cup can build a long-term legacy in ease of access and movement. across the country and the entire region.

As for the Head of the Sustainability and Environment Department at FIFA, Federico Addici, he affirmed the success of the Qatar World Cup 2022 in pioneering the scene of other major sporting events in terms of enhancing accessibility and movement for people with disabilities, which goes beyond simply providing basic infrastructure that meets the needs of this category of fans.

The current edition of the World Cup is witnessing the largest use of sensory aid rooms for people with special needs in a sporting event of this size in the history of hosting major sporting events in the world.

The Supreme Committee has also equipped a number of mobile sensory assistance rooms across Qatar to give fans the opportunity to get away from large crowds or loud music, on the Doha Corniche, which witnessed a wide range of entertainment and cultural events and activities, as well as at the FIFA Fan Festival in Al Bidda Park in Doha.

The large crowds, loud sounds and bright lights at such events create a confusing atmosphere for him
Loud sounds and bright lights create a confusing atmosphere for people with special needs (Al-Jazeera)

Moroccan fan Yassin Shahboub, 30, said that attending the World Cup was a dream he had long wanted to achieve throughout his life, due to his suffering from sensory needs that make it difficult for him to attend among the fans on the stadium stands, where large crowds, loud sounds and bright lights in such events form an atmosphere. Confusing for him, but with the availability of sensory rooms in the World Cup in Qatar, he can fulfill his dream and enjoy watching the matches.

Shahboub added, “I never expected that I would be able to encourage my favorite team from the stands, especially in the World Cup, and when I heard that Qatar offers quiet spaces isolated from noise that allow me to get away from the noise that I cannot bear, I immediately booked tickets to attend the Qatar World Cup 2022 matches.” “.

For his part, Adel Al-Awwad, who accompanies his 13-year-old nephew Ibrahim to the World Cup matches, said that the sensory assistance rooms are an important experience for Ibrahim.

He added, “I feel happy to watch Ibrahim get the opportunity to attend football matches in the world championships. He loves this game and is very excited to watch the matches on the field.”

Ibrahim (right), accompanied by his uncle, Adel Al-Awwad, watches a match while wearing headphones to reduce loud noises
Ibrahim (right), accompanied by his uncle, Adel Al-Awwad, watching a match while wearing headphones to reduce loud sounds (Al-Jazeera)

He added, “Although Ibrahim loves the atmosphere in the stands, watching the fans and hearing their cheers, this is sometimes unbearable for him, and as a child with autism, the sensory rooms help him enjoy attending matches, and make this experience easy and comfortable for him, away from some sounds.” Movements that cause him a feeling of discomfort.

“Most importantly, the provision of such facilities and equipment gives Ibrahim and others the opportunity to participate in other major events, and enhances his self-confidence, thus integrating better into society,” he added.

The Supreme Committee established the Empowerment Forum in 2016, which constitutes a platform that brings together people with disabilities, private institutions, non-governmental organizations and representatives of government agencies, to discuss the best ways to organize an inclusive and accessible World Cup, including providing feedback on infrastructure and work projects. To meet FIFA standards for accessibility, movement, and inclusive design of facilities and facilities, as well as support Qatar’s national vision to promote and protect people with disabilities.

In addition to sensory assistance rooms in stadiums, and other mobile ones in entertainment destinations for the masses; The Qatar World Cup 2022 will witness a number of unprecedented services for fans with disabilities, including descriptive audio commentary in Arabic in all matches.

Source: Aljazeera

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