AccessAbilities Expo 2017 starts tomorrow Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, AccessAbilities Expo, the Middle East’s largest expo for people of disabilities, will start tomorrow (November 7) at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
More than 150 exhibitors from 40 countries including USA, Canada, South Korea, UK, Australia, Cyprus, India, China, Italy, Czech Republic, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will showcase the world’s latest assistive technology products and solutions, during the three-day expo.
Government departments from the UAE will highlight their accessibility initiatives, while training centres for people of disabilities will present their research and latest training methods being adopted for their students. The expo will also feature a dedicated are for ‘Unified Sports’, activity area, Inclusion in the Workplace Conference and Knowledge Centre, knowledge-sharing and interactive platforms. “Advancements in technology are helping people of disabilities function in a way that was not even thought of earlier, empowering and enabling them to function independently as well as increasing their employability.
The UAE leadership’s vision is to make the nation fully disabled-friendly and enhance the participation of people with disabilities in the community and the economy and the nation is acting faster than other places in this area. Toward achieving this goal, there is a need for this assistive technology to reach the maximum number of people with disabilities, an estimated over 50 million in the Middle East,” Sheikh Ahmed said earlier. “The expo is also aimed at motivating government authorities and private sector participants to improve their understanding of people of disabilities and enhance their services to better meet their needs, integrate them into society and enable them to overcome their daily challenges,” Sheikh Ahmed added.
The Expo is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to build hope, build life, build the future and make people from all walks of life happy and is driven by the goal set by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, to make Dubai disabled friendly by 2020. Reflecting the UAE’s eagerness and strong efforts toward ensuring accessibility, the event has a strong support from government bodies including Ministry of Community Development, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Municipality, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Dubai Police, General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai, Community Development Authority (CDA), Dubai Customs, Dubai Ambulance Services (DCAS) and Zayed Higher Organisation (ZHO), who will highlight new services, employment opportunities, and facilities aimed at inclusion and ensuring happiness of their customers and employees having disabilities.
Emirates is supporting AccessAbilities Expo as the official airline and flydubai is the Gold Sponsor for the Expo. The expo also has strong support from Etisalat as the Strategic Telecommunications Partner, Alpha Destination Management as the Strategic Tourism Partner, Arabian Millennium Medical Trading (AMMT) as the Foundation Partner, SEDRA as the Information Partner and Planet Travel and Tours as the Travel Partner.
Organised jointly by Reed Exhibitions Middle East and Nadd AlShiba PR and Event Management, the expo aims to benefit over 1 billion individuals with disabilities worldwide (according to WHO), 50 million of whom are in the Middle East.
Technology Among the assistive products to be showcased at the Expo are the world’s first smart eyeglasses that will enable people with visual impairment to function without assistance, first-of its kind hearing aids, device to cure stuttering within a few hours, mobility scooters, Braille smart watch, wheelchair accessible cars, disability driving aids, mobility aids for seating, standing, therapy, support services for people with disabilities such as inclusive transport, short-term inclusive accommodation, housing, training for employment, educational toys, mobility scooters, power chairs, sport and dance wheelchairs, accessible ramps, smart Braille products, prosthetics and many others.
Centres Among the centres, association and voluntary organisations from the GCC and the UAE, participating in the 2nd edition of the expo are Dubai Club for the Disabled, Dubai Autism Center, Al Noor Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities, Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, Rashid Centre for the Disabled, Al Husein Society – Jordan Center for Training & Inclusion, Al Salam Edu Club Center, Al Tareq Rehabilitation & Autismus Center, Al Thiqah Club, Asasco for Training and Development, American Center for Special Abilities, Association of Families of Persons with Disabilities, Autism Support Network, Awladouna Center for People with Disabilities, Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Charitable Society of Autism Families, Dubai Center for Special Needs, Emirates Autism Society, Emirates Speech Language Pathology Society, Enable, First Step Team, Fursan Medical Equipment, Group Fakher Al Watan Volunteer Team, Gulf Disability Society, Integreat Center for Special Needs, Jordanian Club for the Deaf, King Salman Center for Disability Research, King Saud University – Higher Education Program for the Deaf, Kuwait Society for the follow-up of Disabled Persons, Manzil, Mawaheb from Beautiful People, Modern Alternative Education, Nafeh Al Amal Volunteer Group, Oman Paralympic Committee, Riding for the Disabled, Saudi Schizophrenia Charity Association, Stars for Special Abilities and Early Intervention, Taleem Training & Skills Development Center, The Team of Will and Challenge, UAE Deaf Association, UAE Down Syndrome Association, UAE MS Support Group and Wings of Angelz.
Unified Sports The Dubai Club for People of Disabilities is the Strategic Sports Partner for the event and will facilitate unified sports, bringing people with and without disabilities together, during AccessAbilities Expo in a dedicated sports area. The sports activities will include wheelchair basketball, boccia, archery, badminton, Kung Fu demonstration and athletics. The sports will be open to all, with the goal of facilitating inclusion. The sports area will also provide equipment and gadgets used by Paralympic champions and athletes.
Inclusion in the Workplace Conference The ‘Inclusion in the Workplace’ conference will have international experts on disability discuss present employment scenario for people with determination, the challenges and key issues relating to inclusive work environments, government policies and regulations on employment for people with determination, use of technology to make the workplace more accessible and other ways to create a disability friendly workplace and environment.
Knowledge Forum AccessAbilities Expo will also host a ‘Knowledge Forum’ with special educators, decision-makers from government bodies, senior representatives from international associations for the disabled, taking up highly relevant issues such as inclusion through recreation, transition to adulthood for teenagers with disabilities, choosing between mainstream schools and special needs centres and path to successful entrepreneurial inclusion.
Business Connect The event will provide an opportunity for the visitors to explore these technologies as well as a B2B platform of exhibitors looking to expand their operations. The ‘Business Connect’ intuitive online matchmaking programme allows exhibitors to book meetings in advance with the right contacts for their business. Read more at http://www.etbtravelnews.global
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