Qatar Airways continued its long-standing support of autism awareness at the inaugural Autism Awareness Fundraising Gala in Washington DC on November 8 as part of its commitment to social responsibility.
The event was hosted by the Qatar embassy and ‘Autism Speaks’ at the iconic John F Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts.
Qatar Airways joined Qatar ambassador to the US, Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad al-Thani, Autism Speaks president and CEO Angela Geiger, and other dignitaries and guests, including honourees Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA), Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), Michelle Carbonell and Dr Vikram Patel to honour the theme of this year’s gala ‘Together for Autism: Ensuring Acceptance and Accessibility’.
Established in 2005, Autism Speaks is an organisation dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.
This is achieved through advocacy and support, increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism, and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.
“Qatar Airways is proud to lend its support to the inaugural Autism Awareness Gala Fundraiser and to join the Embassy of the State of Qatar in continuing efforts to expand autism awareness and create communities that are more inclusive – both on the ground and in the air,” Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker said.
“We are deeply committed to accommodating all of our passengers on every leg of their journey, which is why we actively educate our staff and crew on how to most effectively offer support to those with autism and their families,” he noted.
Qatar’s national carrier further extended its support of Autism Speaks by donating four Business Class tickets to any destination across its extensive route network of 150 global destinations.
“The support of global organisations like Qatar Airways is invaluable to the autism community. It is through partnership and collaboration that we can enhance lives today and accelerate a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow,” Geiger said.
“It is encouraging to see Qatar Airways continue to support the autism community, following in the footsteps of Qatar, which has led the world in raising awareness of autism globally,” she added.
“With these two powerhouses lighting the way, we feel confident that mission of Autism Speaks can be achieved.”
In recent years, Qatar Airways has taken a dynamic role in increasing autism awareness through a variety of autism-related initiatives and partnerships.
In April, the airline marked World Autism Awareness Day and supported the UN World Autism Awareness campaign by partnering with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) to offer a programme of activities to Qatar Airways’ employees.
The activities, designed to increase awareness and deepen the airline’s employees’ understanding of those with autism, included a series of seminars conducted by HMC doctors, specialists and therapists for employees to underscore techniques to recognise and support passengers with autism.
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