Safe and risk-free travel for autistic children.. A laboratory in Qatar to simulate flight | Mix

The Flight Simulator Lab was developed as a research project to help people with autism adapt to flying

doha- The training process by doing by simulating realistic roles and decisions is a methodology that has achieved great and tangible successes in various fields and across a variety of learning needs around the world, which the Qatar Center for Assistive Technology “Mada” embodies on the ground . through the flight simulation lab for people with autism spectrum disorder. .

The Flight Simulator Lab is a unique facility developed as a research project by the Mada Innovation Program, in collaboration with Qatar Airways and Creatria, which allows children with autism spectrum disorder and their parents to experience flying before they start. their real flights..

The research project, which started in 2019, is based on the design and development of a realistic cabin inside the aircraft based on virtual and augmented reality together, so that people with autism spectrum disorder and their families can simulate a practical experience of a flight on Qatar Airways.

The experience simulates a complete flight, starting with safety instructions when taking off, interacting with the sea, by default complying with the instructions of the cabin crew during the flight, and ending with the landing process, which will benefit the subject of this rich practice. without risks when making their future decisions in this regard.

Mada Center works on localization and localization of technology solutions (Al Jazeera)

Realistic experience

Maha Al-Mansoori, CEO of Mada, explains that the flight simulation laboratory provides an experiment designed to alleviate stress and anxiety affecting parents and children with autism spectrum disorder when traveling by air, as the simulation process is interactive, based on research, and aims to improve the participation of people with autism spectrum disorder. To transform the way they teach and respond, as well as to create interactive environments that are full of activity, similar to real life, in which learning takes place through exploration and discovery.

Al-Mansoori told Al Jazeera Net that the flight simulation laboratory is one of the projects of the “Mada” innovation program that attracts various partners and inventors who can innovate in various fields to share their applications and ideas to offer solutions and ideas to meet the special needs of people with disabilities.

She emphasizes that Mada is working with various partners and innovators to develop an ecosystem that supports the creation of technological solutions in the Arabic language to improve digital access for people with disabilities and the elderly.

Flight simulation lab is a realistic experience for children and people with autism, and flights cause discomfort for them and their families, so this practice is a preparation for parents to learn about the reactions of their parents before going into the real experience, as well as training for the injured to know the things they may be exposed to, according to Mansouri.

Flight Simulation Lab, a platform for people with autism spectrum disorder (Al Jazeera)

positive reactions

The flight simulation laboratory was launched a few days ago by the Qatar Center for Assistive Technology (Mada) and it has been tested on the ground by two families who have children and people with autism spectrum disorder so far, and the project is still under research and open for trial of all cases suffering. Autism spectrum disorder without exception.

The reactions of those who experienced the flight simulation experience were very positive, especially that this exercise, which took place in a safe atmosphere and without any risks, was rich in providing many experiences for the parents as well as their families of the injured. at the same time.

On the other hand, the observations about this experience focused on two main points, the first is the importance of implementing this experiment in places of service for people with autism, and the second is the importance of the experience of having some kind of movement during to have exercise. , as happens in regular flights.

Al-Mansoori believes that the flight simulation laboratory is the first of its kind to provide this practice and expertise, but she emphasized that the goal or dream of this research project, which is still in its experimental phase, is to create a larger simulation in open websites.

She said, “We will work on the development of the project during the coming period, according to the observations and comments received from those who have gone through the experience, until we reach the final mature product, which the developing company to various parties in the world, like all Mada innovation program projects.”

The Qatar Assistive Technology Center “Mada”, established in 2010, works to localize and localize assistive technology solutions and digital access by providing expertise and financial support. It has so far adopted 47 innovations with an investment of 7 million Qatari riyals (about $1.9 million), in cooperation with 29 startups, entrepreneurs and innovators have benefited.

Haidari confirms that the laboratory will be greatly developed in the future (Al-Jazeera)

community need

For his part, Engineer Akram Haidari, CEO of Creatria Company, explains that the idea of ​​the flight simulation laboratory comes from the Qatari and Arab community’s need for such a solution to serve people with autism, whose percentage is increasing significantly in the Arab region .

In a statement to Al Jazeera Net, Haidari says that the laboratory will be greatly developed in the coming period, as it will be a special platform serving people with autism spectrum disorder and applied in their different life situations, whether in commercial centers, trains , metro and other public places that pose a challenge for them.

He added that the flight simulation laboratory is distinguished from the programs represented in various countries of the world by its reliance on content inspired by Arab culture and speaking the Arabic language, which gives it a special advantage in light of the increase in the rate of autism disorder among children in the Middle East.

Mada’s innovation program products are based on meeting the needs of the local and Arabic market, as these products are available to cooperating companies, and the Qatar Center for Assistive Technology “Mada” requires these companies to have their innovations in the Arabic language and suitable is for the Arab environment and culture.

The State of Qatar has ranked first worldwide in the Digital Access Rights Assessment Index for 2020 (DARE INDEX) issued by the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict), an indicator that measures the country’s progress in making ICT available to all states, including persons with disabilities, in implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Leave a Comment