DOHA, QATAR, 2nd APRIL 2017: Education is a primary area of focus within MADA strategy, and its Gulf Region Education Assistive Technology Conference (GREAT) is a first in the region, taking place between April 23 to 26, 2017, at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) in Doha. The event was inaugurated on April 25, by HE Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti and HE Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Wahed Al-Hammadi . A number of educational sessions took place during the pre-event and throughout the first day of the conference, which provided attendees with the tools and knowledge they need to solve their toughest challenges in education and learn the latest AT practices.
The pre conference extensive educational sessions featured globally recognized experts delivering Master Classes and Keynotes. MADA is committed to spreading awareness about PWD in Qatar, and helping them stay connected in a world that is increasingly dependent on technology. MADA's GREAT Conference is an important event to bring education to PWD in Qatar.
Maha Al Mansouri, CEO of Mada said: "At MADA we are committed to supporting students with disabilities in Qatar, and our goal is to provide quality mainstream education for them by the end of 2018. Our GREAT conference is a huge milestone for PWD in Qatar, as it provides an ideal platform to further extend the necessary tools and knowledge needed to provide education and AT practices to those teaching PWD. This conference is a prime example of our efforts to further achieve our targets related to education. We are dedicated to providing the power of ICT, and through existing partnerships with stakeholders including the Ministry of Education and Higher Education , MADA is able to gauge its educational operations to gain the furthest possible reach within Qatar."
The conference witnessed the signing of several memorandums of understanding between Mada and other parties in the field of communication, information technology and assistive technology. An agreement was signed with Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services from the United Arab Emirates and with the Assistive Technology Industry Association from the USA. These memorandums of understanding will play an important role in the development of Qatar's assistive technology sector through implementing best practices in this field.
The GREAT 2017 conference is the first of its kind in the region and focuses on education practices in Inclusive Computer Technology and Assistive Technology (AT). Industry experts will exchange information on the best practices and the current trends when it comes to the field of ICT and AT. The conference is structured in two phases, the first phase took place on April 23 to 24, which consisted of the pre-conference stage, that included intensive all-day master classes for participants pertaining to various AT topics. The second phase, taking place on April 25 to 26, involved an opening ceremony, panel discussions and 60–90 minute educational workshops for participants.
Mada is a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting people with disabilities to the world of information and communication technology. Mada has established four key service offerings: relationships and partnerships, advisors and policy, direct services, and a center of excellence. These services together intersect to create value across the board for people with disabilities in the country. Founded in 2010, to accommodate the UN convention on PWD, in recognition that technology is pervasive across a breadth of private and public sector activities and will be included in the Ministry of Transport and Communications strategy, and one that works to improve digital inclusion for persons with disabilities in the State of Qatar.
Mada is committed to encouraging the development of innovative Assistive Technology in the Arabic language to support the needs of PWD in Qatar. The nonprofit organization believes in unlocking the potential of PWD by enabling both individuals and their environment through Information and Communication Technology.