His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council, launched the "My Community - A City for Everyone" initiative in November 2013, which aims to fully transform Dubai into a disabled-friendly city by 2020. To achieve this objective, the Dubai Code is being established to maximise the participation and inclusion of every citizen, especially disabled people, and empower them to achieve a fully integrated society.
Building on last year’s success, The 2nd Future Accessibility Summit will take place on 8-9 October 2017. It will support the implementation of new regulations and standards to be introduced in the Dubai Code this year. This 2-day initiative will provide an interactive platform for best practice benchmarking, case study insight sessions, new technology and solution showcase, analysis, strategic collaboration and discussion of challenges and opportunities in the assistive technology sector.
The summit will bring together government authorities, experts, project owners and developers, international and regional organisations, researchers, accessibility and assistive technology solution providers to share intelligence and discuss the new regulations and implementation of accessibility projects in built environment, universal tourism (hotel, airports, transport), mobility and transportation, and digital technology.
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Now is the moment for the GCC to evolve into a leader in universal design & accessibility for all:
In Dubai, on February 2017, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services published the “first aid in Braille language” as part of the "My Community - A City for Everyone" initiative to ensure a right, fair and equal protection for persons with disabilities.
In Dubai, UAE University is developing Smart Gesture Control and Recognition Technology (Smart G-CRT) that will help persons with disabilities using body movements to control artificial limbs. The technology includes motion sensors and cameras, and can be fixed to prosthetics and other devices that need to be controlled naturally. Based on specific human gestures, devices can be controlled easily.
In Abu Dhabi, March 2019, The city will host the 2019 World Summer Games gathering around 5,000 athletes, at ADNEC, Zayed Sports City and the IPIC arena. The city is working on retrofitting sports venues, accommodations and transportations to improve their accessibility.
In Sharjah, 2016, police department implemented a special hotline number for residents with disabilities, as well as mobile app to report crimes or call ambulances.
In Qatar, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy has announced their objective for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar to be one of the world’s most inclusive and accessible tournament.
In Saudi Arabia, the government mandates building renovating and accessible mobility in the two main holy cities to make them accessible for pilgrims with disabilities. The new regulations include the cities’ infrastructure and roads. There will be special restrooms and guide signs implemented.
In Jordan, the government introduced the 2015-2018 Building Inclusive Classrooms Initiative, a £34 million program to help schools and educators to improve their access for students with disabilities.