- AccessAbilities Expo forms Advisory Board
- Members include decision-makers and experts in disabilities sector
- Expo to connect job-seekers with companies, training centres with CSR executives
Dubai: Experts in the field of serving people with determination in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said the nation is treading in the right direction towards becoming the world’s friendliest place for the determined and providing a strong support and opportunities to help them give their best and empower them. This is inspite of the challenges in terms of spreading awareness and reaching out to people from more than 200 nationalities and different cultural backgrounds, said the experts, who form the Advisory Board of AccessAbilities Expo, the Middle East’s largest expo for people with determination.
The Advisory Board, which comprises of representatives from international, government and private sectors, will steer AccessAbilities Expo to greater heights and contribute to the vision of the UAE’s leadership to empower, integrate and include people with disabilities in the society and become an ideal platform for stakeholders to work together toward making the UAE the world’s friendliest place for the disabled by 2020.
Among the members of the advisory board of AccessAbilities Expo 2017 are Ishpana Khatib, Director, Al Noor Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities, Maryam Othman, Director General of Rashid Center for the Disabled, Mona Abdulkarim Alyafee, Director, Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, Reem Al Fahim, CEO, Sedra, Dr. Ayesha Saeed Husaini, Director, Manzil, and Eqab Qasem Al-Badarneh, Senior Occupational Therapist Supervisor, Consultant Assistive Technology Devices Moeen Center, Ministry of Community Development.
The second edition of the expo will be held from November 7-9, 2017, 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.
At the first meeting of the Advisory Board, Isphana Khatib, Director, Al Noor Training Centre for People with Disabilities, said: “By creating this platform, which includes people who are decision makers and are involved in the disabilities sector, the Expo will ensure that its initiatives offer practical solutions and are aligned with the vision of the government.”
Dr. Ayesha Saeed Husaini, Director, Manzil, added: “AccessAbilities Expo has established itself as the largest dedicated platform that focusses on disabilities. As members of the advisory board, we will focus on not only individuals with disabilities but the entire society and facilitate inclusion, better opportunities for all people including those with disabilities and lead the organisers of this Expo to set exemplary standards for others to follow when it comes to creating a dedicated platform such as this Expo.”
Reem Al Fahim, CEO, SEDRA Foundation for Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, said: “After the highly successful inaugural edition, we eagerly look forward to the next edition of this Expo, which will surely be a catalyst for wider community awareness and collaborative efforts towards enabling the persons with disabilities across the region to equally and fully participate in every sphere of life. There are areas that need more focus, there are challenges to be met, and together we will steadily move forward towards a barrier free, sustainable and inclusive society for one and all.”
The advisory board members highlighted the need to host a forum during the Expo for the centres, charitable organisations and associations to meet, network and address challenges faced by the sector.
Based on the recommendations of the advisory board, the exhibition will provide a wider range of activities focused on inclusion for kids and young adults with a view to providing an unlimited range of opportunities available for people with disabilities in the region.
Reed Exhibitions Middle East and Nadd Al Shiba PR & Event Management, the organisers of AccessAbilities Expo, announced the expo will offer new features in its second edition including business matchmaking platform to connect CSR professionals and centres and international businesses to local stakeholders.
Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East, said: “One of the biggest challenges to enhancing inclusion and integration is to spread awareness among people coming from diverse backgrounds. Having an advisory board with local and international experts and decision-makers from the sector, is a step toward ensuring that the expo gives solutions to real life problems and adds value to the lives of people with disabilities, their families and caregivers through expert advice, services and the latest technologies, all of which will be offered at the expo.”
AccessAbilities Expo was a resounding success in its first edition, receiving more than 6,000 visitors and with the participation of more than 140 exhibitors from 21 countries.