Special Needs in Focus as ADNEC Prepares to Host 3rd ABILITIESme from 24-26 March

ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) is gearing up to host the third edition of ABILITIESme, the definitive annual event in the Middle East aimed at the empowerment of physically challenged individuals in society.

To run from 24 – 26 March, the strategic corporate social responsibility initiative is held under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, and Honorary President of Future Centre for Special Needs, Abu Dhabi.

The three-day event will gather government officials, policy-makers, educationists, infrastructure developers, disabled rights activists, researchers, philanthropists, psychiatrists, physiotherapists as well as differently-abled individuals. Among the key objectives of ABILITIESme is the creation of a sustainable disability sector in the MENA region to disseminate information on international best practices relevant to improving the lives of people with special needs. The event also seeks to engage the government, civil society and a wide range of industries and businesses to integrate such individuals into the national mainstream.

The multi-layered event will include conferences that examine topics such as new treatment trends and current state of the infrastructure and industry vis-?-vis facilitating disabled people, and wheel-chair securement solutions for private and public transportation. The agenda also includes workshops to provide educators, families and care-givers with tips on recreational activities, as well as inclusive education and employment options for the differently abled.

In addition to an exhibition showcasing latest supportive technologies from the health, education, automotive, transportation, construction, accessibility design (for facilities) and robotics industries, ABILITIESme 2014 will host an awards ceremony celebrating the achievements, passion and vision of special needs people.

Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Chief Commercial Officer at ADNEC, said: “Year after year, we are proud to offer our facility to such an important and socially relevant event as ABILITIESme. In line with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030, ADNEC is committed to supporting worthwhile humanitarian initiatives that are directed towards the social and workplace integration of special needs citizens and residents. We are confident that such community endeavors will go a long way towards enhancing the quality of lives of our differently-abled brothers and sisters, and send out the clear message that they are not alone in dealing with their limitations.

“ABILITIESme Abu Dhabi has become an annual platform for prominent experts in the field to discuss the latest advances in disability and rehabilitation and identify best-in-class treatments and social therapies. The event articulates the UAE’s commitment to making the world a better place for all segments of the population, regardless of their abilities and social standing.” ADNEC, the iconic business meetings and exhibitions venue in Abu Dhabi, is fully equipped with modern facilities and built according to international standards. The venue offers 133,000 sq metres of indoor and outdoor space that can be adapted according to client needs. In 2013, it attracted 1.53 million people across 328 events to it.