Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 20 September 2023 – Exhibitors from all over the world are making their way to the UAE to take part in the 5th edition of the AccessAbilities Expo to be held in Dubai from October 9 to 11, with an impressive array of new technologies and innovations for over 50 million People with Disabilities in the Middle East region.
This year’s edition at the Dubai World Trade Centre is expected to be crowded with manufacturers and distributors of assistive technology and rehabilitative products, who will be displaying advanced products and technologies for the first time in the region. Participating will be over 250 exhibitors, brands, and rehabilitation centers for People with Disabilities. This is expected to be the largest B2B platform in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia region focusing on technology for People with Disabilities. It is expected to attract approximately 12,000 visitors with Special Needs from more than 70 countries.
Some of the prominent participants in the exhibition organized by Nadd Al Shiba PR and Event Management emphasized that the United Arab Emirates is one of the best countries in the world when it comes to addressing the needs of people with disabilities and providing the latest innovative technologies and products that can help them live independently. Technological innovations like assistive communication devices facilitate better expression of their thoughts, emotions, and special requirements. Smart home technologies and Internet of Things (IoT)-based devices have played a significant role in making independent living more achievable for people with disabilities.
On their part, the Expo participants confirmed that the UAE is one of the best countries in the world in terms of focusing its attention on the needs of People with Disabilities and providing them latest technologies and innovative products that will help them live independently, with technological innovations like the augmentative and alternative communication devices facilitating the process of their better expression of their thoughts, emotions and needs. Smart home technologies and IoT-based devices have played an important role in making independent living more achievable for People with Disabilities.
Engineer Khalid Al-Khatib, CEO of NAFFCO Group, said: “Our participation in this important exhibition expresses our humanitarian duty towards People of Determination and is part of NAFFCO’s social responsibility through sponsoring this event and displaying the latest systems and equipment that it produces to serve them and contribute towards improving the quality of their lives and ensuring empowerment and integration into society as aspired by the wise leadership.” He added: “Our company manufactures several technologies and devices and works closely with international and regional partners to attract the latest innovations in this field.”
Alive Holistic Medical Rehabilitation Centre, a Dubai-based facility for physical therapy, holistic health consultations, physical medicine and rehabilitation, physiotherapy, and bioenergy therapy, said that the advances in technology and innovations have led to the development of a wide range of Assistive devices and tools that meet the needs of specific disabilities and aims to enhance independence and accessibility, allowing People with Disabilities to participate more actively in daily life.
The AccessAbilities Expo 2023 will be used to launch temperature-controlled Z-Pods sleeping capsules designed to help children with autism and sensory processing disorders. Z-Pods is the first American company to provide children with a customizable, sensory-friendly enclosed safety bed. These renewable spaces come packed with features like smart lighting control, white noise generation, Bluetooth speakers, and others. Dr. Laila Hareb Almheiri, CEO of Z-Pods, said, “We believe that with these tools people can find a more comfortable place to sleep as Z-Pods provide improved emotional, educational, and physical outcomes that are observed while they sleep better.”
Ana Lucia Frutuoso, Founder and CEO of Portugal-based ZenSenses, said that the Expo has helped promote inclusivity, rehabilitation, and Assistive technology in the Middle East region, where caregivers and families of People with Disabilities have been constantly seeking a range of activities and techniques to enhance their conditions, achieve the quality of life for them, and to enable them to participate in society. Through our participation in the AccessAbilities Expo 2023, we will unveil many important initiatives for their well-being at various levels.
At the Expo, ZenSenses will unveil a support program that helps implement sensory spaces, whether in community centres, hospitals, airports, schools, clinics, or homes, where the concept of “Snoezelen,” or multiple stimulations, has spread. All over the world, ZenSenses creates white or black snoezelen rooms, sensory gardens, snoezelen in aquatic environments, and much more. Everyone can enjoy this relaxing environment through the use of a variety of controlled sensory stimuli, such as music, sounds, lights, textures, soft vibrations, scents, and interactive materials. Snoezelen can be used for therapeutic, educational, or well-being purposes.
Ray Gilani, General Manager of Gilani Mobility Solutions, said the disabled community can expect to see and experience an innovative wheelchair conversion designed specifically for them to give them more independence, freedom, and comfort in their personal space.
Robin Lin, Director of BioBase, said that his company will display its wheelchairs and hospital beds that will help people with disabilities move and sleep properly. In turn, Engineer Ahmed Saleh, Director of Life World Medical Supplies, said that the new technologies directed at People with Disabilities that will appear soon will include improved imaging systems, smart robots, wearable technology, and simulation platforms, while this company specializing in mobility solutions will launch manually driven bicycles and electric wheelchairs.
On its part, the Middle Eastern company Manafeth will unveil the convoluted swivel car seat as part of its wide range of health and mobility equipment. This advanced seat changes the rules of the game for individuals who suffer from mobility challenges and allows a smooth exit from the car. It lowers the disabled user to the ideal position enabling a smooth transition between the wheelchair and the vehicle. The electrically controlled rotation mechanism can be operated by an easy-to-use portable system. Given that it comes with the revolutionary Caroni system, it provides the freedom to move forward, backward, or even place the seat outside the car effortlessly using a remote control. This enables the installation of a fully functional wheelchair. Its power, both on the left or right sides of the vehicle, is available for two-door vehicles and four-door vehicles with instant rotation.
At the Korean pavilion, LBS Tech will present a wheelchair navigation service using augmented reality technology that will provide information to People with Disabilities about the accessibility of commercial stores or public facilities. Users of this service, which has its own algorithm, can obtain route instructions using technology. Augmented reality to explore the best route safely and easily. Siwan Lee, CEO of LBS Tech, said the route navigation service for People with Disabilities works on route data, and he expressed his confidence that his company’s first-ever participation in the AccessAbilities Expo will help promote the service in the region.
His compatriot Eric Ju Yoon Kim of Dot Incorporation who will be exhibiting Accessible Kiosks at the AccessAbilities Expo 2023 said, People with Disabilities now don’t need anyone’s help to obtain information as they can get it independently through this innovation. This technology has been of wider use at busy facilities like public health centers, subway stations, and airports. The CEO said Dot Pad’s screen can be adjusted up and down and it will show how one can go when the user selects a desired destination with a real-time tactile map. So, they can feel the way to their destination through their fingertips. It is also useful for blind office workers as a company’s Excel, chart, and PDF can be shown to them on the real-time tactile pad. He praised the UAE’s initiative for helping People of Determination get closer by introducing better solutions.
Andy Faulkner, CEO of Topland, a leading supplier in the Middle East and North Africa region of products and services to enhance accessibility in places and businesses, said that the company will showcase its latest assistive products and conduct live demonstrations on video doorbells, telephone alert systems, and vibrating fire alarms that aim to help the deaf or hearing impaired. The world’s first smart cane, We Walk, will also be unveiled, in addition to displaying movable beach chairs that can float on water and beach mats to access coastal facilities for People with Disabilities who suffer from limited mobility. The Sunflower Initiative for Hidden Disabilities will
also be highlighted as a simple volunteer tool launched by Dubai Airports and Emirates Airlines for People with Disabilities such as autism, dyslexia, and hearing and visual impairment.
Giscard Bechara, General Manager of Starkey Middle East and Africa, said the “Evolve” hearing aid based on artificial intelligence, will be unveiled at the exhibition. It can perform up to 55 million personal adjustments every hour. It brings the power of AI to users’ fingertips, allowing people to access alternative settings for difficult listening environments. People with Disabilities will be increasingly using assistive devices to gain functional abilities that are otherwise difficult to achieve.