Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs in Qatar graduates 36 people with disabilities from voc rehab program

From Gulf Times:

Thirty-six graduates from the Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs are ready to take up appropriate jobs after completing a five-year course in vocational training.

Among them are 25 Qataris.

“They are pretty well trained and well behaved,” Shafallah’s Post School Services co-ordinator Torrence Royer told Gulf Times yesterday.

There are 22 men in the group. All the graduates are in the 18 to 25 age range. They have intellectual disabilities, including autism, mental retardation, cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

“Most of our graduates are capable of handling tasks with a repetitive nature, which many others could find boring,” Royer said.

They recently completed an assignment from Qatar University, to place magnetic strips in about 900 books, an activity that was repetitive.

Graduate Ghanim Abdulaziz al-Mudhaiki, who will start working today at Souq Waqif car parking control room, has to ensure that a car given entry on a particular ticket is the same that exits on the same ticket.

“Two other graduates are working part-time at the InterContinental Doha Hotel. One is a receptionist at the sports centre and the other is a florist’s apprentice,” Royer said.

The graduate working as florist’s apprentice, a male, developed a liking for flower arrangements while at Shafallah. He now assists in preparing flowers daily for the 200 rooms at the hotel, yet another example of a repetitive activity.

“We send a job coach to train our graduates, who take up jobs, and supports and supervises them before backing out gradually when they become independent,” the official explained.

Shafallah’s Post School Services is currently in discussion with Qatar Airways. “Since Qatar Airways has offices across the country, we hope to provide jobs for our graduates near their residences,” Royer said.

As of now, the Post School section functioning from a villa at West Bay area has graduates coming from places such as Wakrah and Dukhan.

“By September 2010 we expect to have extension services in these locations, and instead of clients coming to us always we could go to them as well,” he said.
Shafallah’s Post School Services, established last year, has a capacity for 60 graduates, with 20 expected from the Shafallah Center annually.