Sasol Definitely Able 2015Following a high-level Gala Dinner featuring VIPs and distinguished guests from Qatar, the region and around the world, the ground breaking ‘Definitely Able Conference and ILHAM Art Exhibition’ opens on 18 March 2015 under the patronage of HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA).

Created by Sasol and the British Council, in partnership with Qatar Museums (QM), the events bring international and local experts and artists together to discuss ways of increasing inclusion for people of all abilities.

President, Sasol Qatar, Marjo Louw, said:

This first day of the Definitely Able Conference will start with the key discussion of legislation and how policy can help to ensure opportunities and rights for all. Qatar has demonstrated leadership in the area of e-accessibility policy, and the conversation during the first session will explore other avenues to move towards inclusion via international best practice.’

Coincident to the opening of the Conference, members of the public are welcome to visit the ILHAM Art Exhibition from 18 March to 27 March 2015, open daily during MIA working hours and free to the public.

British Council Qatar, Director, Martin Hope, said:

In the ILHAM Art Exhibition the public will find an engaging presentation of new works of art by local and UK artists, inspired by the collection of the Museum of Islamic Art. Through their eyes it is possible to get a new perspective on being disabled, but also to see what is achievable when given opportunity and a platform to excel.’

Scheduled for the first day are an official opening speech by HE Dr Abdullah Saleh Mubarak Al Khulaifi, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs and a keynote speech by Lord Holmes of Richmond, Paralympic Champion. Four sessions will follow, highlighting the topics of: disability legislation, employability, inclusive learning technologies and attitudes and disability terminology. The Conference continues Thursday with sessions on access to education, art as a vehicle to change perceptions, accessible museums and galleries and accessibility in Doha.

Strategic partners of the Conference and Exhibition include QM, MIA and UCL Qatar. Supporters include Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Supreme Education Council, Qatar University, Mada Qatar Assistive Technology Center, UNESCO Doha Office, Oryx GTL, Al Noor Institute for the Blind and Audio Education Complex.

As part of the Definitely Able Conference and ILHAM Art Exhibition, a Qatar-based production company and filmmaking collective, The Film House produced an inspiring short film, addressing disability and accessibility in Qatar, featuring the artists and organisers of the conference. Check it out here.

For more information about Definitely Able and the Conference and ILHAM Art Exhibition, visit the Definitely Able website.