du distributed 20 iPads preloaded with the BabNoor App designed by Flagship Projects to the Dubai Autism Center at the launch and distribution of the Arabic language BabNoor App, which is intended to complement and eventually replace physical, visual and pictorial reference cards for children with special needs.
Hala Badri, Executive Vice President, Brand and Communications, du, said: "Children with special needs are part the future of our nation, a happier nation, and it is our moral obligation to empower them through technology as we would any other segment of society," she added: "These children deserve to be a part of our technological progress as much as anyone else. And by providing them the means to improve the quality of their lives through technology and communication, we are also reinventing our role in the fabric of society from being a telecommunications provider to becoming enablers of learning and growth."
Mohammed Al Emadi, Director General at the Dubai Autism Center, said: "on behalf of Dubai Autism Center, I would like to sincerely thank du for joining hands with our Center and providing its students with this intelligent platform offered in their dialect of choice. Thank you du for being their voice and adding life to their lives,"
In addition to the distribution of the app, du arranged two training sessions in cooperation with Flagship Projects for 15 teachers which focused on ways to encourage the children to integrate the App into their day-to-day lives – at school, with friends and with family members. The App measures children's performance with its analytical component focusing differences in communication skills, sentence formation, social interaction, work completion and the like.
"It was a milestone to kick-off our very first training of Babnoor app with Dubai Autism Center. We were pleased to sense the teachers and therapists' excitement to embrace the change and help open a new door of communication for children with autism. We will carry on our support for the future to help bring about positive impact using Assistive Technology," said Shadi Alhasan, Chief Executive Officer, Flagship Projects.
Sara Ahmed Baker, Autism Program Head at the Dubai Autism Center, said: "in respect to international efforts in approaching such individuals, BabNoor has taken a positive step forward. We believe each community must localise their treatment approaches when it comes to autism and here we are working together with du to bring alive this dream,"
"As known, one key deficiency when it comes to autism is verbal and non-verbal communication. BabNoor is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) app that teaches children how to construct sentences using symbols and pictures. It also includes text-to-speech (local Arabic voice) as well as a customisable easy-to-use vocabulary. We are sure that using this app will reduce dependency on physical methods and therapy hours. Our target is that at least 50% of children on ASD in the UAE will adopt it wholeheartedly," she added.