Assistive technology is increasingly opening the doors of possibilities for people with different types of disabilities be it education, work, or everyday life in society. It is becoming that essential tool which helps individuals to become more independent, confident, productive, and better integrated into their communities.
Of course, assistive technology can mean anything from simple, homemade devices to highly sophisticated machines, from toys to computers, and from communication devices to tools which assists an individual with learning, working, and interacting socially.
As beneficial as assistive technology can be, it is not always easy to acquire. This is where Mada (Qatar Assistive Technology Center) steps in. Mada recently unveiled a bi-lingual Assistive Technology portal dedicated to better serve the needs of people with disabilities in Qatar by helping them make more informed choices about Assistive Technology.
The highlight, we felt, is a searchable database of a wide range of assistive technology products including a detailed list of Arabic language technologies, supplier details and approximate costs. The products have been categorized to make it easier for people to find what they are looking for. People can search for a product, find out more information about the device, who might benefit from using it, and whether or not it is currently available at Mada.
The people who will benefit from the new portal are as follows:
- people who are vision impaired or have low vision
- people with a range of physical impairments
- the deaf and those experiencing hearing loss
- people with speech and language difficulties
- people with Learning or Cognitive Disabilities (including those with Dyslexia and other reading/writing difficulties)
If a particular section doesn’t have many products, it may change soon as the Mada team will add more products on an ongoing basis. In fact, Mada also invites all companies interested in listing their products on the portal to contact them.
The portal, which also has a functional mobile version, has been built according to the guidelines set out by the World Accessibility Initiative (WAI). And the most impressive part, it has been developed entirely in-house by the Mada team. We sincerely hope that the Assistive Technology portal will become another successful Mada initiative to build local and regional capacities in the area of Assistive Technology.
Congratulations Team Mada!