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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Dubai's AccessAbilities Expo to cater to people with disabilities

Specialised technology will be on show to help people with disabilities live more productive and independent lives

The world’s first smart eyeglasses that will help the visually impaired function without assistance, a device to cure stuttering within hours and running prostheses for recreational athletes are among the smart assistive technologies which will be on show at the AccessAbilities Expo 2017 in Dubai.

The Middle East’s largest expo for people with disabilities will be held under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed, president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, chairman of Dubai Airports, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from November 7 to 9.

The convention targets the 50 million people across the Middle East with disabilities, offering folding mobility scooters, cars designed to be driven from a wheelchair, innovative solutions for sound sensory stimulation, voice synthesisers, Braille readers, wireless monitoring devices and plenty more.

More than a billion people with disabilities - about 15 per cent of the world’s population according to the World Health Organisation - benefit from assistive technology to live more productive, independent and fulfilling lives.

And the role of assistive technology is only growing with the global market for elderly and disabled assistive devices projected to exceed Dh95.5 billion by 2024, reported state news agency Wam.

The three-day expo will cater to this increasing demand and bring together more than 150 exhibitors to showcase the latest assistive technologies and robotics.

"In the era of exponential technological advancement, we are witnessing usage applications like never before. AccessAbilities Expo, by bringing the world’s latest technologies under one roof, provides an opportunity to get the best of this life-transforming assistive technology,” said Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibitions Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East.

“The UAE’s leadership envisions making the country disabled friendly and there is a significant role that technology can play in achieving the vision," he said.

More than 6,000 people attended the inaugural expo last year, among them were individuals with disabilities and their families, educationists, and experts from health care. More than 40 countries participated in the exhibition.