His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Honorary President of the Future Centre for Special Needs in Abu Dhabi, opened today the ABILITIESme Conference and Exhibition, the Middle East’s leading disabilities support platform, surrounded by world-class thought and health leaders from varying disciplines.
The annual exhibition and conference introduces the Middle East community to the latest advances in mobility, independent living, assistive technology and rehabilitation solutions. People with disabilities and the elderly can also test and try the latest technologies and solutions available worldwide. Themed ‘Inclusion’, the multilayered event will bring together government officials, policy-makers, educationists, infrastructure developers, researchers, psychiatrists and physiotherapists.
Commenting on his Patronage of ABILITIESme, His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan said: ““Our presence and support to ABILITIESme conference and exhibition confirms that we live in a nation and country that is keen to enable its sons and daughters, and provide them with a decent life where they can enjoy education, employment, health care and fully contribute to society opportunities.
The ABILITIESme Exhibition and Conference comes in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the ruler of Abu Dhabi, who personally supports people with special needs, and embodies a strong sustenance and great attention to ensure the full rights of people disabilities are fulfilled, without distinction or discrimination.
One of the key challenges is to transform our society and our view towards people with special needs from the typical “disabled persons” to “individuals with distinctive capabilities,” and this is the main reason for our support for “capable,” His Highness added.
dmg events President, Simon Mellor said: “At dmg events, we have a long standing relationship with HH Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan as He has been our supporter for the last 11 years in our annual cancer care charity event in Dubai – The Oil Barons Charity Ball. And now, for the second year in a row, and through ABILITIESme, we have broadened our CSR initiatives, and came to Abu Dhabi where we felt that there is a lot to be given back to the society. We are reaching to all the families with special kids, working with the educational bodies to further promote their offerings, and tying up with local governmental bodies, through which we are working on integrating individuals with special needs, and unleashing their hidden talent and abilities.”
The 2015 ABILITIESme Conference brings international and local speakers and opinion leaders to Abu Dhabi to discuss government initiatives, new policies, social inclusion and the latest information on trends in accessibility, adaption, rehabilitation and assistive technology for the Special Needs Community. Distinguished speakers and guests include His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development and Honorary President of the Future Centre for Special Needs – Abu Dhabi, Her Excellency Mariam Saif Al Qubaisi, Head of Special Needs Sector, Zayed Higher Organization for Humanitarian Care and Special Needs (ZHO), Sheikha Dr. Alya Al Qassimi, Director of the Social Programs and Inclusion Department, Community Development Authority, Her Excellency Professor Maha Taysir Barakat, Director General, Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD), in addition to Dr. Matti Kuorelahti, Director – Department of Education, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
Additionally, a full workshop and seminar program will run alongside the conference and exhibition, featuring diverse subjects catering to improving the lives of people with disabilities in the MENA region. The seminar topics will include “What to look for in Special Needs Services in the UAE” by Kids in Motion Pediatric Therapy Services on Day One and “Ask the Occupational Therapist” by kidsFIRST Medical Centre, to be featured on Day Two of the seminars.
Furthermore, the UAE Disabled Sports Federation (UAE DSF) invites ABILITIESme visitors to participate in a variety of disabled sports directly on site.
ABILITIESme in its second edition is organized and managed by dmg events, and will be held from March 24 – 26, 2015 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.