SSB BART Group (SSB) CEO Tim Springer recently returned from a trip to Dubai to present at the Future Accessibility Summit. This summit supports His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s initiative to have Dubai become an inclusive and accessible city by 2020. The Emirate of Dubai issued Law No. (2) of 2014 which protects the rights of persons with disabilities. In April 2016, a project was announced to ensure all new buildings and public spaces are accessible and that existing facilities are retrofitted for improved accessibility.
Of course, physical access must be accompanied by digital access. One of the biggest barriers to use of assistive technology in the Middle East and Gulf region is awareness. Not only are families unaware of the options for loved ones with disabilities, but many doctors are unaware as well. For those that are able to locate and afford to purchase assistive technology, it is difficult to find help in setting it up and learning how to use it.
The Future Accessibility & Assistive Technology Summit addressed:
- Defining codes and regulations
- Consulting community stakeholders
- Investing in assistive technology
Our CEO, Tim Springer, delivered a talk on International Internet Access Standards and also spoke on a panel discussion entitled Access to Information and Communication through Assistive Technology Devices, along with EDr. Mohammed Habash, Managing Director of Accessibility Solutions with Royability, Inc. The panel was moderated by Professor Eman Gaad, Lead Trainer of SEDRA Foundation for Inclusion and Dean of Faculty of Education for British University in Dubai.