Mada Assistive Technology Centre awarded its e-Accessibility certification to Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as its website is now accessible to Persons with Disabilities. The website also allows for ease of use, and follows the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0 AA).

This important step in Qatar helps unlock potentials for Persons with Disabilities and empowers them in all aspects of their lives. This partnership is part of Mada’s effort to promote and activate e-accessibility policies, based on the Centre’s belief that Persons with Disabilities have the right to access digital content. This is one of the most important provisions of the UN Convention when it comes to rights of Persons with Disabilities, and it is one of the pillars from the National Policy that focuses on digital accessibility.

Mada Centre announced partnerships with a number of government institutions, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, earlier this year, to raise awareness on the concept of e-Accessibility. The Centre also organised a series of training courses and specialised workshops to illustrate how to design accessible websites and applications, following global standards. These workshops were also conducted for developers and designers working on government websites and mobile applications in Qatar. These are all in line with international standards and Qatar’s e-Accessibility Policy, issued by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Mada CEO Maha Al Mansouri said that they value their partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and their effort towards meeting the global standards for e-Accessibility through their website’s digital content.

The Ministry’s website is now accessible for PWD and a plan will be put in place to ensure continuous access to all the Ministry’s digital platforms. Mada provides several training courses on the topic of e-Accessibility to many government and private institutions. We have also studied more than 36 government websites and tested their level of e-Accessibility. The services offered by Mada are integral to its strategy of empowering PWD in Qatar through ICT.’

Dr Saif Mohammed Al Kuwari, Director of Information Technology Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that they are very pleased to meet the e-Accessibility standards. He said that it reiterates their commitment to facilitate access to various information and services available to Persons with Disabilities.

These efforts helped contribute to the spread of digital culture among all segments of society. We express our sincere thanks and gratitude to the Mada Centre management and team for its support, which allowed our Ministry of Information Systems management team to accomplish this achievement.’

In order to achieve the best results, Mada Centre launched an integrated programme, e-Accessibility to Websites earlier this year. The programme was aimed at supporting access services on government websites. The programme also provides expert supervision and consultancy services, in addition to developing solutions and training employees and developers to make websites accessible to Persons with Disabilities.

The programme courses are extended over a year and implemented in coordination with government agencies in Qatar. Mada Centre published its initial report on the current state of digital e-Accessibility on government websites in the country, focused on laying the foundations for building a policy aimed at creating a successful future in this area.

Visit mada.org.qa for more information on Mada’s e-Accessibility programme.