In the presence of Her Excellency Sheikha Jamila bint Muhammad Al Qasimi, Director General of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, the Assistive Technology Center organized the “Virtual Forum for Artificial Intelligence Applications” on Tuesday, June 8. The forum aimed at raising awareness about the applications of artificial intelligence and the latest characteristics of artificial intelligence technology in our hands, the ways to use it and its role in facilitate the lives of everyone, including people with disabilities.
The forum comes within the framework of the center's annual celebration of the Global Awareness Accessibility Day. This year's celebration of the center took place during the months of May and June through workshops and forums under the theme of the role of artificial intelligence technology in empowering people with disabilities.
The event aims to shed light on the importance of modern technology in empowering persons with disabilities. In addition to educating persons with disabilities and their families about modern technologies and their role in supporting education and providing opportunities for cooperation with institutions and companies concerned with technology and artificial intelligence.
To mark this occasion, Her Excellency Sheikha Jamila Al Qasimi delivered a speech in which she stressed the great importance of technology for everyone. The past few years imposed on those who reject the idea of technology to learn to use it due to the repercussions of the Corona pandemic.
She also stressed the importance of modern technologies and artificial intelligence for people with disabilities and their families in all areas of life and knowledge. It has influential role in motor skills, self-reliance, and achieving independence to persons with disabilities to the greatest extent.
The Director General of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services talked about the role of modern technology in the field of health, education and culture. It enable persons with disabilities to access knowledge and news, in addition to its influential role in playing, entertainment and communicating with people around the world.
Sheikha Jamila clarified that the matter faces many challenges, such as the need for training on some modern technologies and their high costs. She called on everyone to join efforts in order to overcome these challenges.
She also thanked all the companies that contribute to providing technologies and training. She also thanked the staff of the Assistive Technology Center for organizing the forum, (Apple) and MDS for Technology Solutions, and the Student Facilities Department at Zayed University for their continuous cooperation with the Center. She wished them continued success.
Ms. Rabab Abdel Wahab, Director of the Assistive Technology Center, said that organizing the Artificial Intelligence Forum is part of the celebrations of the Global Awareness Accessibility Day. The city has an active role in educating all members of society on important concepts such as Universal Design and accessibility to environments and technology.
The Director of the Assistive Technology Center referred to the topics of the workshops that the city will organize during the month of June. They are about artificial intelligence applications such as programming, automation, and controlling the environment using technology.
Karen Hart, Apple Professional Training Specialist, spoke at the forum about the concept of artificial intelligence and the various applications available on iOS. They can facilitate the performance of various tasks within the activities of daily life, added by Rabab.
The technology specialist in student facilities management at Zayed University, Maysa Ebeid, also spoke about the features of Accessibility in iOS operating systems and the features of artificial intelligence such as (task automation). Student Shaima Suleiman (a psychology student at Zayed University) also participated in the presentation. She spoke about her experience using artificial intelligence applications during her daily life.
The forum also witnessed a presentation by Hamda Al-Ketbi, a Teacher at Al-Wafa School for Capacity Development and Ola Mahmoud, a Speech And Language Specialist. The presentation was about the school's experience in the Apple Education Program and the Kaligo application to improve writing skills.
Ms. Rabab thanked Apple and MDS for Technology Solutions and Student Facilities Management at Zayed University for their permanent cooperation with the Center. She wished for this cooperation to continue and develop in the future in line with international best practices.
In conclusion, Abdel Wahab confirmed that the Assistive Technology Center provides multiple services. Most notably are evaluation, selection of technical solutions, and provision of these solutions to all individuals who need them from within or outside Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services. The center also provides tools in cooperation with companies providing Assistive Technology.