1st Saudi Universal Design Conference Starts Today

RIYADH: The three-day international conference on Universal Design organized by Global Alliance Global Alliance on Accessible Technology and Environments (GAATES), Saudi Engineers Council and Saudi Architects Association, in collaboration with Prince Salman Center for Disability Research (PSRDR), started in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

The Saudi Forum on Universal Design

The conference will cover issues regarding – Universal Design, Built Environments and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for persons with disabilities. A series of presentations and discussions by accessibility experts from around the world will be held on the occasion.

“The conference will provide a common platform to be shared with the different groups of people from different countries on Universal Design. It will also explore the opportunities for the new and possible co-operations, projects or joint ventures on Universal Design,” said Mukhtar Al Shibani, President, GAATES.

Experts from more than 24 countries will present, exchange ideas, debate and discuss the scope of Universal Design and its future.

“This exciting International Universal Design Conference is an important step in the implementation of the Accessibility components of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”  said Betty Dion, Past President, GAATES

“This conference is a wonderful opportunity for GAATES to make new connections that will benefit people with disabilities” said Chuck Letourneau, Secretary, GAATES

“The Universal Design Forum has been a very important event for Saudi Arabia, supporting the Kingdom’s commitment to universal accessibility. I have been amazed at the talent and dedication of the GAATES members, particularly the country reps, who gave presentations at the Forum. It is clear that GAATES has matured into a credible and action-oriented NGO which has an important role to play in assisting countries implement their accessibility obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” Bob Topping, Treasurer, GAATES

More than 400 participants from around the world are expected to attend this important event, including architects, accessibility expert and professionals.

The conference can be followed on twitter by following #riyadhUD2012.

By Aqeel Qureshi