People of Determination Information Centre at MBRL
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Library (MBRL) aims to provide all its facilities with the latest technology and tools to help integrate people of determination into the public sphere and promote their capabilities by offering them a unique collection of books and resources that they can both read and listen to as they are an integral part of society, including people with visual impairments.
MBRL has made great efforts to integrate and empower people with disabilities, in particular by bringing its buildings and facilities into compliance with the Dubai Universal Design Code. These efforts include the provision of wheelchairs at the main entrance, as well as Braille signage on utilities, audio and visual alarm systems, restroom alarm devices, evacuation chairs on all floors of the building and more.
The library’s People of Determination Information Centre is a pioneering initiative to support and empower blind and visually impaired people. The centre offers more than 2,000 Braille books in Arabic and English, covering literary, historical, intellectual topics and reference materials. The Children’s Library houses a unique collection of targeted stories donated to MBRL by the Braille Institute in Los Angeles, the Zayed Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation and Dar Ibsar in Jordan.
The library has an array of high-end specialized devices that cater to the needs of the blind and visually impaired and provide optimal service to people with disabilities. The library also offers several assistive devices to ease visitors’ path to knowledge, including magnifiers, reading devices and Braille printers.
In addition, the MBRL has included Braille in the catalogue cards of the information centre and children’s library, allowing visually impaired people to feel the Braille dots and identify the themes of the books on the shelves. In this way, all people with disabilities can enjoy a unique and unobstructed visit to the public library.
MBRL organised a workshop for its staff to introduce them to sign language and how it facilitates communication with the hearing impaired and to learn the basics of sign language, such as numbers and the Arabic alphabet, along with a practical demonstration of Arabic letters and their corresponding signs. This was followed by a hands-on group session between staff and hearing-impaired target-oriented people.
Reflecting MBRL’s vision and strategy, the workshop was part of the library’s commitment to social responsibility in supporting and implementing the National Disability Empowerment Policy initiated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The policy, a nationwide initiative, aims to create an inclusive society that ensures the empowerment and well-being of all people of determination and their families.
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