Qatar National Library (QNL) hosted a panel of experts on Wednesday to discuss national efforts to provide equal opportunities for people with disabilities.

Dubbed “Equity for All: Social Inclusion in Qatar,” the event brought together professionals from various private organisations who are experts on disability issues to assess the employment prospects of people with disabilities and weigh measures to improve their access to social activities and networking events.

The panel is the latest in a series of events organised by QNL as part of its wider efforts to serve the diverse needs of all community members.

During the first session, Abdullah Ibrahim al-Mulla, chairman of the Qatari Social Cultural Centre for the Deaf, was joined by Dr Khaled al-Nuaimi, president of the Arab Union of the Blind, and Hamda al-Hitmi, head of the Autism Families Platform, to discuss the challenges that people with disabilities face in Qatar.

Al-Mulla emphasised in his speech the urgent and pressing need for sign language interpreters in Qatar to enhance communication with the deaf community.

He underscored the importance of providing educational courses in sign language and highlighted the readiness of the Qatari Social and Cultural Centre for the Deaf to supply the necessary training staff to conduct these educational courses and training workshops in sign language.

Disability research and policy was the focus of the second round of discussions, which featured Mike Park, ICT accessibility consultant at Mada – Qatar Assistive Technology Centre, along with Sabika Shaban, academic journals and publications specialist at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, and Ghanimeh Saleh El Taweel, affiliate instructor at HBKU.

The sessions included a presentation on the key services provided by QNL for individuals with physical disabilities, special needs and autism.

Commenting on the discussions, Abeer al-Kuwari, director of research and learning services at QNL, said the event reflects QNL’s commitment to catering to the unique needs of every community member regardless of their background or abilities.

“Since its foundation, the Library has endeavoured to promote the values of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, which continue to guide our activities,” she said.
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