Digital Accessibility Empowering People of Determination

Technology and digital accessibility are leading to greater inclusion of people of determination (POD) in society. Majid Rashed, CEO of the Dubai Club for People of Determination and President of the Asian Paralympic Committee (APC), said the tools which have been serving POD in the UAE for a long time are now becoming more user-friendly for all, creating pathways for better communication. “Right from assistive technology to adaptive and rehabilitative technology, more facilities are being provided to the People of Determination (POD) right from their young age,” he remarked. He has about 10 years of experience as an elite para-athlete and began his career in 1989, both athletics and table tennis. He quickly moved from local and national level competitions to regional and international events. Rashed was asked to manage the UAE athletics team at the 1998 Birmingham Athletics World Championships. “I want to add that technology has given POD equal access to education, empowerment, and employment in the UAE. More than any other barrier, breaking the social barrier and integrating POD into society is the need of the hour. The UAE and our leadership have been working towards that through their continuous support and motivation for the People of Determination for years now. This has also helped form a physical environment that is accessible to them, while creating awareness and a change in perception in society, further boosting their confidence,” he adds. He has also worked hard on improving his administrative skills. He has been working closely with the UAE Disabled Sports Federation and the UAE NPC. He was even named the first National Ambassador from the UAE by UNICEF Gulf for his decades of work for children and children of determination in the UAE and worldwide.

In 2008, he was named the CEO of the Dubai Club for People of Determination. Technology has already made everyday tasks a lot easier for everyone. It has created avenues and pathways for People of Determination to not only participate but excel in the fields of education, health, employment, sports and culture. With new and adaptive technologies which keep the unique challenges of POD in mind, technology companies can pave ways that enable them to participate fully in life, he asserted. Big tech companies are introducing several new features such as the Live Caption feature on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, where users can follow along with any audio content more easily. Then there is the Voice Over feature which is meant for blind and low-vision users.

Source: Khaleej Times

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