Coinciding with the celebrations of International Mother Language Day (IMLD), and within the framework of the Mada Innovation Program, which aims to enhance digital access in Arabic language and encourage innovators to provide more technological solutions for persons with disabilities, the Center launches “Mada’s Glossary”, which provides a thorough explanation of main terms related to the field of inclusive ICT access and Assiative Technology (AT) in both Arabic and English.
The main objective of developing the glossary is to promote innovation in Arabic language in various fields of technology as a mother tongue, as it carries culture and the essence of identity. The glossary will provide a list of terms in Arabic and English languages to assist researchers, experts, innovators, users, teachers, students, therapists, and related institutions to understand key terms related to ICT, digital accessibility, and Assistive Technology (AT) in order to achieve the center’s vision to improve the ICT accessibility in Qatar and the world. This comes in line with Mada’s belief and mission to unleash the potential of all persons with disabilities and the elderly through capacity-building and supporting the development of accessible digital platforms.
This project has been developed to provide an effective contribution as a vital knowledge source for all concepts and terms that serve the programs, activities, and services of Mada Center, as well as the target groups and society in general. It contributes to the spread of culture and awareness related to inclusive digital accessibility and highlights the center services represented in capacity building and providing assistive technology in Qatar and the region. The Mada Glossary was reviewed in cooperation with the Institute for Translation Studies in HBKU within the framework of activating the cooperation agreement between Mada and Hamad Bin Khalifa University signed during QITCOM 2019.
This project is the first of its kind in Qatar and the region, it aims to provide a list of basic terms for digital access and assistive technology in Arabic and English, it is condidered a useful reference for target groups of stakeholders, experts, innovators, users, teachers, students, therapists, specialists, and other relevant community groups.
Mada Glossary consists of (354) terms, each of which is concerned with providing a clear explanation of everything related to persons with disabilities, accessibility, and technology. Moreover, the center seeks to continue its work on developing this project in advanced stages by adding more terms and translating them into other international languages to increase the impact and enhance inclusiveness and raising awareness in this field.
Due to the limitations and insufficiency of Arab resources related to ICT and digital access for persons with disabilities, Mada considered a development of a specialized multilingual information platform to advance assistive technology solutions in Arabic language and to build a wider knowledge society in line with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, artificial intelligence and all that is new in the field of innovation. The issue of creating solutions in Arabic language has become crucial to accelerate the pace of research in the field of automatic treatment of the Arabic language. In this regard, in 2019, the Center launched two research projects to develop Arabic sign language processing for the deaf and Arabic Braille for the benefit of blind people, in addition to the approved Arabic translation project for guidelines of web content accessibility WCAG2.1 with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
From this standpoint, the Center seeks to further work on the Arabization of assistive technology solutions through Mada’s Innovation Program. Furthermore, Mada strive to unite the efforts of many researchers, innovators, and experts from inside and outside the State of Qatar by creating the appropriate environment and platform to exchange data sources, views, and knowledge, and support their researches, studies, projects. This has resulted in many high-quality applications supported in the Arabic language.
Furthermore, Mada works through strategic partnerships to enable the education sector to ensure inclusive digital education, and the culture and society sector to become more inclusive through ICT. The Center accomplishes this by building the capabilities of partners and supporting the development and adoption of digital platforms in accordance with international standards for digital access, providing consultations, raising awareness and increasing the assistive technology solutions in Arabic language through Mada’s Innovation Program, to enable equal opportunities for the participation of persons with disabilities and the elderly in the digital community.