It is essential that peoples in Qatar and beyond, have the required competencies to use and develop universally accessible ICTs, in particular in Arabic language, as well as appropriate assistive technologies, and make it part of their professional practices towards maintaining an inclusive workplace, and bridging the digital divide and making ICTs accessible to every user, so that no one will be left behind. On this premise, education, training and long life learning programmes harnessing the power of ICTs can enable all persons, including those with disabilities, to develop the necessary ICT accessibility and inclusive design ICT-AID relevant competencies for life and work.
In response, MADA has developed the ICT-AID Competency Framework to guide training of students and workers on the foundation in ICT accessibility and inclusive design which allows the intended audience to make a sense of the experience of disability related to the use of ICTs, and to increase their accessibility awareness when using and creating electronic materials, and to apply accessibility standards and techniques, including W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, so that they will be well prepared to excel in their accessibility professions and contribute in the creation of accessible products, content and services.
Mada has been working with its partners, in collaboration with a group of experts, to commissioning the ICT-AID competency framework, considered as the first in its kind on digital accessibility in Arabic language, in a bid to advance the level of understanding, using, and developing accessible ICTs at different levels in the region.
In the same way, Mada, as part of its endeavors to enabling equal opportunities for all and to ensuring an inclusive education system at all levels and lifelong learning through ICT education, is collaborating with ISKME to launch the “Mada ICTA-AID OER Hub”. Mada Hub is meant to be the Mada branded portal on OER Commons where accessible resources are aggregated, curated and managed through collections, and groups, and development tools. Mada Hub provides basically the following services:
- Offering dedicated groups to the Hub members in order to use/reuse, create, and share accessible quality open educational resources;
- Building capacity of educators, trainers and content authors on creating and sharing accessible open educational resources using Mada Hub;
- Gathering collections of accessible Open Education Resources in Arabic and English languages curated by Mada and Hub members;
- Providing accessible open educational resources aligned to Mada ICT-AID competency framework;
- Supporting activities of expert groups.