A line-up of renowned influential speakers are set to speak at the anticipated Accessible Qatar Conference this May

A line-up of renowned influential speakers are set to speak at the anticipated Accessible Qatar Conference this May

Under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, introduced by Sasol, the international integrated chemicals and energy company, under its CSR initiative “Accessible Qatar” and powered by Project Qatar, the 14th International Construction Technology and Building Materials Exhibition, a line-up of high-profile personalities are set to share the stage at the first “Accessible Qatar” conference which is aimed at raising awareness about accessibility, encouraging knowledge-sharing, and influencing project developers toward making existing and future venues accessible. Project Qatar is the leading construction exhibition in the country organized by IFP Qatar, a member of IFP Group (International Fairs & Promotions).

Taking place during 08-09 May 2017, the conference will bring together local, regional and international leaders, policy makers and experts in the accessibility field.

Local Speakers
• Nasser Al Maslamani, Director of Planning and Quality, Qatar Tourism Authority
• Najla Al Obaidan, Senior Architect, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy
• Ameer Al Mulla, Executive Director, Qatar Paralympic Committee (QPC)
• Abdulla G Ali, Senior Manager Terminal Operations, Hamad International Airport
• Mohammed Al Fehaida, MADA Communications and Marketing Officer.
• Mike Park, E-Accessibility Expert, Mada Center
• Ahmed Habib, Policy Expert, Mada Center
• Nabil Robert Barakat, General Manager, AURA Entertainment – KidzMondo Doha

Regional Speakers
• Morné Fourie, Vice President, DXB Entertainments the parent company of Dubai Parks and Resorts, UAE
• Issam Azouri, Communications Advisor

International Speakers

• Martin Heng, Accessible Travel Manager and Editorial Adviser at Lonely Planet
• Hideto Kijima, President of Japan Accessible Tourism Center
• Isabella Menichini Head of Tourism and Marketing of the Milan Municipality
• Mark Todd, Principle Accessibility Consult, expert to Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympic Games, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Rio 2016
• Guy Davies, Managing Director, Disability Solutions (Pty) South Africa
• Bill Forester, Founder, TravAbility Travel, Australia
• Jane Stoneham, Director of The Sensory Trust

Ranging from Architecture and Design to Sports, the conference will tackle a variety of crucial and interesting topics, aiming to showcase the importance of incorporating accessibility in all sectors of the economy, thereby empowering the disabled community in Qatar. Moreover, a media workshop, shedding light on the role of communication in promoting accessibility,
will be conducted involving several journalists representing various sectors of Qatar’s media industry.

The speakers at the conference will shed light on the following topics:

• Accessible tourism for all: Examining global concepts and identifying new approaches and initiatives for sustainable accessible tourism
• Eden project Case study – accessible architectural designs and implementation
• Importance of Accessibility and the role of media in promoting it
• How to improve fan experience for people with disabilities. Case study on different elements and new development ideas on making World Cup 2022 accessible for all
• Accessibility inside work place
• Theme Park Accessibility: Case study of accessibility implementation best practices.

Commenting on the announcement, Phinda Vilakazi, President GTL Ventures at Sasol in Qatar said, “Sasol believes that accessibility is an integral part in achieving an inclusive society. Following the success of the 2015 Definitely Able Conference, we are keen on providing the best experts and practitioners in the accessibility field to showcase their valuable insight, enriching and broadening the horizons of the various attendees. Sasol has been a firm believer in empowering the disabled community and through the Accessible Qatar Conference, we will strive to continuously make a positive impact in the local society, following our corporate head office in South Africa. Sasol thanks IFP for their ongoing support on this event and look forward to build on the success that the Accessible Qatar initiative has achieved, in line with the National Vision 2030.”

George Ayache, General Manager of IFP Qatar said, “The Accessible Qatar Conference proves to be a strategic venue to help increase awareness on the importance of accessibility, especially in the efforts to urge Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to lead normal lives. The event proves to be both timely and strategic for us as we continue to provide the disabled community with comprehensive tools that can help them in their day-to-day activities. Our partnership with Sasol, and support for the event complements our vision to play a key role in society’s further growth and development, particularly putting key focus on the needs of the disabled. We are confident that this two-day conference will result in more project developers taking action in ensuring that their future and current facilities are accessible to the disabled.”

Accessible Qatar builds on Sasol’s ongoing Definitely Able initiative. The concept for the initiative grew out of an engaging session called “Finding the Accessible Doha” held during the Definitely Able Conference in March 2015, where disabled individuals from around Qatar, the region and the world discussed inclusion for people with disability as full members of society.

Sasol has developed the Accessible Qatar initiative in partnership with The Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Qatar Tourism Authority, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, Mada, and Shafallah Center, and in close collaboration with Qatar Social & Cultural Center for the Blind, and The Qatari Center of Social Cultural for the Deaf, the Qatar Society for Rehabilitation of Special Needs, and the UNESCO Doha Office.

The Accessible Qatar conference will bring unique educational experiences, thorough insight from prestigious speakers, exclusive workshops and trainings, prospective networking and greater opportunities for the disabled individuals in Qatar.

More information can be found on the Accessible Qatar Conference website (www.AccessibleQatarConference.com) and on the Definitely Able social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), where users can keep tabs on the latest developments.