More than 50 million people in the Middle East to benefit from world’s latest assistive technology

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AccessAbilities Expo 2017 to showcase world’s latest assistive technology
More than 150 exhibitors expected to participate in the 3-day expo

Assistive technology is making special needs individuals more independent

Dubai (UAE):  AccessAbilities Expo will bring world’s latest assistive technology and robotics, aimed at transforming the lives of more than 50 million people with determination across the Middle East, during the three-day expo to be held from November 7-9, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Worldwide, the market for robotic rehabilitation and assistive technologies is poised to grow significantly due to the growing application of assistive technology and robotics, particularly by healthcare service providers. According to estimates, the global market for elderly and disabled assistive devices projected to cross $26 billion by 2024, indicating the growing role of assistive technology toward empowering those with disabilities.

AccessAbilities Expo expects participation from more than 150 local, regional and global exhibitors from private and government sectors, who will showcase latest technology catering to a wide spectrum of disabilities and disorders including neurological and physical disabilities.

Being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, the expo will also highlight how technology can facilitate integration of people with determination in the society and empower them.

Majid Abdulla Al Usaimi, Executive Director, Dubai Club for the Disabled, said: “Technology has been playing a significant role in various ways toward improving the lives of people with determination. Last year, during our participation in the expo, we explored the latest assistive technology from across the world and this year we look forward to more. The latest innovations in technology give access to better learning and enable a person to function much more independently, which is in line with the UAE’s vision toward empowering and integrating people with determination in the society.”

The inaugural edition of the expo last year saw world’s latest  assistive technology products including aids for leisure and sports for the disabled such as running prostheses for recreational athletes, leg prosthesis systems that virtually make replication of physiological human gait possible to pre-hospital medical equipment, folding electric mobility scooters, specially designed cars allowing driving directly from the wheelchair,  high-definition silicone, orthotic, mobility devices, power wheelchairs, innovative solutions for sound sensory stimulation, voice synthesizers, Braille readers, wireless monitoring devices, special tools and software enhancing language and learning and much more.

Mawafaq Matari, Managing Partner, AMMT, which showcased their new equipment and sensory products that can help develop motor skills and social skills among individuals with autism, Down syndrome and other disabilities during the first edition of the expo, said:  “The inaugural edition of the expo brought a very wide range of assistive technology products under one roof from across the world and the show effectively catered to the needs of people with different types of disabilities. Assistive technology has been enabling people in ways that were never thought of a few years earlier and it is important that we see the latest that world has to offer  as it can have a major positive contribution in the lives of people with disabilities as well as their families and the society in large.”

Mohammed Kettaneh, Managing Director, Starkey Hearing, said: “Innovative use of smart technology is playing a significant role in the lives of many people with disabilities, making them independent and enabling them to give their best. In line with the vision of UAE’s leadership toward empowerment and inclusion, there is a need for this technology to reach out to millions of people.  AccessAbilities, by creating a platform and bringing companies from across the Middle East together, provides the right opportunities to spread use of smart technology throughout the region and benefit millions of people.”

An estimated over 1 billion people (around 15 per cent of world population according to the World Health Organization) in the world face some or the other form of disability, 50 million of them in the Middle East.
Organisers of the expo, Nadd Al Shiba PR and Event Management and Reed Exhibitions Middle East, said robotic and Assistive technology is helping individuals with disabilities live more productive, independent and fulfilling lives.

Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibitions Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, said: “More than anything else today, technology has the astounding ability to transform the lives of people with disabilities and enable them to perform their daily tasks independently and comfortably. This is a key area of focus for AccessAbilities Expo and through our international network of offices and colleagues, we are reaching out to thousands of leading technology companies around the world to join us at the Expo this year. The 2017 event will showcase some of the most advanced technologies available in the market today and through a dedicated matchmaking platform, we will provide an opportunity for these companies to meet with regional government departments, disability centres, medical facilities and people with disabilities and their caregivers.”

The inaugural expo in 2016 was remarkably successful with more than 6,000 people, including individuals with disabilities, their families, educationists, experts from different sectors such as healthcare, technology and infrastructure, and decision-makers, attending the exhibition and exhibitors from 41 countries showcasing the latest products and services at the event.