In another achievement added to Mada Center’s record of achievements in particular and the State of Qatar in general in the field of ICT accessibility, and in consolidation of its important international and regional role as a strategic enabler in the field of digital access for all stakeholders, specialists, web developers and content makers on the Internet, and within the framework of effective partnership with The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Mada Center announced the launch of the approved Arabic translation of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG2.1) for the first time in the world in Arabic during a virtual event held on this occasion in the presence of a number of the ICT officials from various international and global organizations.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 cover a broad set of recommendations aimed at increasing the accessibility of web content. This translation will serve all Arabic-speaking organizations, companies, governments, professionals, web developers and content creators from various sectors, as the adoption of these principles will help develop platforms and create digital content in an accessible way for everyone.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has chosen Mada Center to be the accredited Arab body that undertakes the task of translating these guidelines to provide unified standards for Arabic speakers. Hence, the Center began working on the Arabic translation project for WCAG2.1 in January 2020, where Experts, specialists, and practitioners in the field of ICT and digital access from various international and regional bodies around the world were invited to participate in translating and revising these guidelines in a way that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments at the international level.
Mada Center was chosen to be the Leading Translation Organization in January 2020 which confirms its position as a Center of Excellence in digital access in the Arabic language and reinforces its pioneering role in the development and innovation of ICT access solutions and digital inclusion in the world. Mada has commissioned 49 experts from The Arab ICT Accessibility Expert Group “AIAEG”, the first group of its kind in the Arab world established by Mada, to review, proofread and approve the translation. This group consists of 70 ICT experts and specialists from different sectors and countries.
These efforts were crowned with success following the approval of the World Wide Web Consortium of the Arabic translation of WCAG2. 1 as the only approved translation in Arabic according to their translation policy that includes many critical stages and procedures. One of the most important of these stages was that Mada offers the Arabic translation to the public for 30 days in order to receive any comments about the proposed translation. This contributed to improving the translation to be more comprehensive for the Arab region as a whole. As for the last stage, the Web Access Initiative team of the World Wide Web Consortium reviewed the latest version of the translation proposal to be approved and was published on November 11, 2021, on the official website of the W3C through the following link: https://www.w3.org/Translations/WCAG21-en/
In her speech at the joint event held with the World Wide Web Consortium on this occasion, Maha Al Mansouri, CEO of Mada Center, said: “We at Mada Center are very proud of completing the translation of WCAG 2.1, which was approved by the World Wide Web Consortium, as this translation will have a significant impact on ICT accessibility for Arabic speakers around the world today, Arabic web developers, digital content creators, and designers among others can use these guidelines in Arabic to ensure that PWDs have access to online content and services. We are also proud to have established a group of Arab experts who played a major role in achieving the center’s goal in developing the concepts of digital access in the Arabic language, as this group had a significant impact in highlighting the cooperative work between the countries of the Arab world in developing the digital access ecosystem in the Arabic language.
The completion of this authorized translation confirms the pioneering role that Mada Center plays at the regional and international levels in reducing the digital gap that prevents persons with disabilities and the elderly from accessing ICT in the State of Qatar and the Arab world.”
This project is in line with the goals of sustainable development and the right of access to information in the United Nations Conventi on on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This outstanding achievement also enhances the important international and regional role that Mada Center plays as a center of excellence in the field of digital access in the Arabic language and as a strategic enabler for all parties related to ICT access in the Arab world. This project is part of Mada’s work to localize international standards and best practices within the Localization track of the Mada Innovation Program.
There is no doubt that this international approval of this large-scale initiative confirms the importance of the regional and global role of the State of Qatar in the field of digital access, as the State of Qatar ranked first in the world according to the DARE Index 2020 issued by the Global Initiative for Information and Communication Technology (G3ict). It also highlights the active role that Mada Center plays in enhancing the ICT accessibility in the Arabic language, in accordance with its strategy, which seeks to provide the best practices and global standards to the relevant authorities, stakeholders, and workers in this field.