GREAT 2018 The 2nd Edition of Mada’s Annual Conference

GREAT 2018 The 2nd Edition of Mada’s Annual Conference

Research article Open access | Available online on: 08 September, 2019 | Last update: 08 September, 2019


Volume 6

Issue 06

Under the patronage of H.E. Mr. Jassim bin Saif al-
Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications,
the Qatar Assistive Technology Center “Mada” held
the Gulf Region Education Assistive Technology
Conference “GREAT 2018” from April 23 to 25. The
second edition of the Conference aimed at providing a
platform for the exchange of information and expertise
by bringing together experts, users, frontline workers,
innovators and producers to promote innovative
technology, best practices, implementation strategies,
research and education in the area of accessibility and
assistive technology in the region.
The conference opened its first day with speeches of
a distinguished group of speakers and experts, as well
as a special session on innovation, which was marked
by the merger of young innovators and specialists
in scientific research. The opening also included an
exhibition of the latest technology innovations, an
innovation theatre that offered a platform to showcase
selected solutions and innovative assistive technology
initiatives. The innovation area highlighted the Arabic
assistive technology solutions developed with Mada’s
support as part of Mada’s innovation program.
Fourteen local and international exhibitors were
involved in providing the latest technology solutions
in the assistive technology display area. Mada area
at the conference witnessed the launch of eight new
best practices and projects in various areas to develop
the ecosystem for people with disabilities such as
education, employment and society through assistive
technology, information technology and digital access.
In its second and third day, the Conference
discussed the latest innovations and technological and
educational trends with the aim of educating officials,
policymakers and specialists from various fields
about assistive technology and its usage and the latest
developments in the field of universal accessibility.
A large group of international experts in assistive
technology participated in various workshops and
panel discussions that were well attended. The conference concluded with a ceremony held
under the patronage of H.E. Minister of Transport and
Communications, who presented a special award for
talented student Mursi Seraj as the youngest innovator
at the GREAT 2018 conference. The closing ceremony
also witnessed the graduation of super users and
the announcement of winners of the universal
accessibility and e-Accessibility awards.
Universal accessibility
and e-Accessibility awards
Mada has worked throughout the year with
government agencies to increase digital accessibility
which reflects Qatar’s and the Ministry of Transport
and Communications commitment to the National
e-Accessibility Policy and the United Nations
Convention on the Rights of persons with disabilities,
in addition to ensuring the achievement of the Qatar
National Vision 2030. In this context, Mada AT Center
has allocated a first-of-its-kind award, which was
announced at the end of 2017 and has been opened
for competition for those who meet the terms of
participation. The closing ceremony of GREAT 2018
witnessed granting the e-Accessibility award to the
best Websites that meet international and Mada’s
standards. Following a continuous process of
monitoring and evaluation of indicators, three entities
have qualified for the final phase. His Excellency
Minister of Transport and Communications and Mada
CEO presented the award to the winners. The Ministry
of Interior came in the first place and the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs in second place, and the Ministry of
Endowments and Islamic affairs in third place. Mada,
in collaboration with the Accessible Qatar initiative,
presented a special award for the Museum of Islamic
Art, which achieved the highest score for universal
access in 2017.
AT Super Users Graduation
Mada center has worked to build the capacities of
relevant stakeholders through the launch of the
capacity building program for Super Users with
academic accreditation from Qatar University.
This program provided extensive training on the
basics of assistive technology and its multiple
uses in support of persons with disabilities in the
areas of independent living, education, health
and employment. 67 participants in this program
graduated at the closing ceremony of the GREAT
2018 conference. The project was implemented
in cooperation between Mada and the Ministry of
Education and Higher Education, Hamad Medical
Corporation and Qatar Foundation for Social Work
represented by “Shafallah”. This initiative made
a great progress in increasing the number and
improving the quality of assistive technology workers
to reach an inclusive society that offers equality for
all its members.

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