[Doha, Qatar, Feb 04, 2020] – As part of its commitment to ensuring that Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) are empowered by the powerful digital transformations brought about by the new industrial revolution, Mada Center has joined the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the world’s leading ICT international body, which brings together more than 700 sector members and affiliates from industry, government, the NGO sector, and academia.
This partnership reinforces Mada’s major contribution towards positioning Qatar as a leading regional and global hub in implementing inclusive digital access for persons with disabilities and the elderly. This resulted in positioning Qatar to rank fifth in the Digital Accessibility Rights Evaluation (DARE) Index reflecting its firm commitment to uphold the rights of persons with disabilities and elderly to ICT digital access.
Mada’s strategy is aligned with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of PWDs ratified by Qatar, and as a member of the ITU will continue working with partners around the world to build on its position as a global center of excellence in the area of digital access and innovation in the Arabic language. Through its work, Mada will continue to bridge the digital divide and ensure digital inclusion of PWDs through creating inclusive initiatives that aim to increase the level of ICT accessibility in education, community and culture.
Both Mada and the ITU will join efforts in this new membership to improve access to ICT through the development of new resources, collaboration platforms, capacity building initiatives, and innovation programs that all aim to improve the ability of PWDs locally, regionally, and globally to use digital technologies to gain better access to education, community, and cultural activities of all kinds. In addition, Mada will support ITU’s Digital Inclusion Program that promotes ICT accessibility as a means to empower all people through ICTs. Furthermore, fulfilling its commitment to raise awareness of the importance of digital inclusiveness, Mada will intensify efforts to create and develop a more inclusive digital society consistent with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Most recently, Mada attended the ‘Accessible Europe’ forum organized by the ITU, which focused on further promoting the development of accessibility in countries and institutions through sharing resources and successful outcomes of projects and initiatives implemented. Through such involvement in global events, Mada aims to support the different ITU members of state in their efforts to implement an accessible ecosystem enabling inclusiveness for all.
Mada Center is a private institution for public benefit, which was founded in 2010 as an initiative that aims at promoting digital inclusion and building a technology-based community that meets the needs of persons with functional limitations (PFLs) – persons with disabilities (PWDs) and the elderly in Qatar. Today, Mada is the world’s center of excellence in digital access in Arabic.
The Center achieves its goals by building partners’ capabilities and supporting the development and accreditation of digital platforms in accordance with international standards of digital access. Mada raises awareness, provides consulting services, and increases the number of assistive technology solutions in Arabic through the Mada Innovation Program to enable equal opportunities for PWDs and the elderly in the digital community.
TU is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs.
Founded in 1865 to facilitate international connectivity in communications networks, they allocate global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develop the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strive to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide. ITU is committed to connecting all the world’s people – wherever they live and whatever their means. Through their work, they protect and support everyone’s right to communicate.