Some 55 experts and professionals in computer and assistive technologies from around the world will be taking part in the second Gulf Region Education Assistive Technology (GREAT) conference, to be held in Doha from Monday until April 25.
In a press statement, Mada Assistive Technology Centre said the "first-of-its-kind" event this year will focus on four main domains related to Inclusive Computer Technology (ICT) and Assistive Technology (AT): education, independent living, e-accessibility and innovation.
The ‘education domain’ will highlight the use of AT in education and discuss support in place for children with autism and hearing impairment while ‘e-accessibility domain’ will tackle various best practices in this field such as digital platforms, banking and gaming.
In addition, speakers will present on how to create accessible prints with successful case studies, according to Mada.
Meanwhile, the ‘independent living domain’ will see workshops highlighting the mportance of modern AT to improve the lifestyle of elderly and people with autism.
Presenters will also discuss how technology can help people with disabilities (PWDs) to gain access to employment and have a better transportation system.
Under the ‘innovation domain,’ Mada noted that cutting-edge technology and new innovations will be given emphasis.
“GREAT aims to provide a forum to share knowledge and exchange expertise by bringing together experts, end users, frontline workers, innovators and vendors to promote initiative technologies, best practices, implementation strategies, research and education in AT and accessibility,” said Mada’s communications and marketing officer Mohamed al-Fehaida, who is also the head of media for the conference.
He noted that such conference will be useful for mainstream and special education teachers, occupational therapists, technology professionals, medical professionals who work with PWDs, parents of children with disabilities, physical therapists, providers of AT products and innovators, among others.
Among the speakers include Dr Dena al-Thani, assistant professor, ICT, College of Science and Engineering at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU); professor Joselia Neves, acting head of translation and interpreting studies department, College of Humanities and Social Sciences at HBKU; Mohamed Hasan al-Jefairi , Qatari inventor, entrepreneur and author; Dr Christopher Lee, executive director of the AMAC Accessibility Research Centre at the University System of Georgia; Dr Ahmed K Elmagarmid, executive director of Qatar Computing Research Institute; Brad Turner, vice-president of Global Literacy for Benetech; Michael J Brogioli, executive director of Resna, the rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology society of North America; and professor Jonathan Hassell, accessibility director of Open Inclusion.
The conference will feature interactive zones such as the Innovation Zone, which will shed light on the upcoming Arabic AT solutions that are developed in collaboration with Mada, and the Innovation Theatre, which will provide intensive discussions, inspiring innovators and entrepreneurs to develop solutions catering to the needs of PWDs in Qatar and the region.
Meanwhile, the AT Exhibition Zone will showcase 15 leading exhibitors who will be demonstrating a wide range of cutting edge AT products and services while the Mada Zone will present Mada’s work and contributions on the core domains of education, employment, and community.
GREAT 2018 will also award for the first time the best e-accessibility sites in Qatar, al-Fehaida said.
At the gala dinner on April 25, the conference will see the graduation of more than 60 AT super users this year, dubbed as ‘inaugural graduates’ from Hamad Medical Corporation, Ministry of Education and Higher Education and Shafallah.
International artiste Lorelai Mosnegutu will also perform as part of a cultural event at the conference.
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