Continuing their ongoing collaboration for inclusion, Sasol supported the British Council’s annual Diversity Week by presenting an accessibility workshop for students and staff. Moreover, the British Council announced their official support for the Accessible Qatar initiative; its students will be contributing to the application’s user submitted reviews. Sasol’s accessibility consultant, Jennifer Stirling, conducted the workshop, explaining the inspiration for the project, application and website.
On a yearly basis, the British Council organises a global Diversity Week featuring a number of fun, as well as educational events, taking place at the British Council office for staff, visitors and customers. The event is an opportunity to communicate and promote the British Council’s commitment and approach to equality, diversity and inclusion, celebrate the diversity of its workforce and observe different United Nations International Days.
Phinda Vilakazi, President of GTL Ventures at Sasol, said, “After the success of the Definitely Able Conference and ILHAM Art Exhibition, Sasol is proud to be once again collaborating with the British Council in promoting the important concept of accessibility in Qatar. Empowering the disabled community has always been one of the core focuses for Sasol’s various CSR initiatives, following our mother hub in South Africa. We believe in the value that Accessible Qatar offers the community through user submitted reviews and conducted accessibility audits. Sasol also plans on more audits in 2017, specifically in the education and health sectors, enriching the application and website’s content and adding further benefits to local society. We thank the British Council for their support and will strive to promote an inclusive society for everyone.’’
In addition to its Diversity Week, the British Council works extensively on inclusion, notably female empowerment programme “Springboard,” the accessible design award “Unlimited Doha Design Prize,” an Inclusive physical education training for school teachers, as well as support for disabled artists through exhibitions and participation in international festivals in the UK.
British Council Country Director, Dr Frank Fitzpatrick, commented, “As the UK’s principal cultural relations organisation, equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our ambitions. Our work is centred on building meaningful, enduring and respectful relationships among people from different cultural backgrounds. We welcome diversity and recognise that diverse teams can offer different strengths and opportunities. This is why we dedicate a full week annually to celebrating the diversity of our staff, students, customers and partners, as part of a wider British Council initiative globally. It has been a pleasure to build on our existing relationship with Sasol and continue our work with and support for Sasol’s initiative Accessible Qatar.”
Accessible Qatar, which builds on Sasol’s ongoing Definitely Able CSR initiative, grew out of an engaging session called “Finding the Accessible Doha” during the Definitely Able Conference in March 2015. Disabled individuals from around Qatar, the region and the world discussed inclusion for people with disability as full members of society.
Sasol, in partnership with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Qatar Tourism Authority, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, Mada, and the Shafallah Center and in close collaboration with Qatar Social & Cultural Center for the Blind and the Qatari Center of Social Cultural for the Deaf, developed the initiative to help the local community.
Additionally, Sasol has recently partnered with Project Qatar, the leading construction exhibition in Qatar, in order to raise awareness around accessibility and to encourage project developers to make their existing and future venues accessible. Sasol and Project Qatar will also introduce a two-day “Accessible Qatar Conference” on 8 and 9 May 2017, and the “Accessible Qatar Awards” for best accessible venues in Qatar on 9 May 2017.
The Accessible Qatar app is available for download free of charge on App Store, Google Play store, Windows Phone Store and on the website (accessible-qatar.dev.aleaweb.com/Accessible_Qatar_2_0//). More information can be found on the Definitely Able social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), where users can keep updated on the latest developments.