Mada-QATC Reaching Out the Horizon

Assistive TechnologyMada-QATC (Qatar Assistive Technology Center), means Horizon in Arabic, is a non-profit organization committed to connect people with disabilities to the world through Information and Communication Technologies. Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technologies (ictQATAR) in public-private partnership with Ooredoo-Qatar, Vodafone-Qatar, Qatar National Bank (QNB) and Microsoft established Mada in June 2010.

Mada provides wide range of services starting from, advisory services, trainings, and communication technologies, which are specially designed for people with physical, hearing, visual and learning disabilities such as Dyslexia. Mada opened a virtual door to a world of information and opportunities to disabled people who are constantly faced economic and social barriers.

Mada has a dynamic board of directors who are its decision makers. These members of the board of directors are experts in the field of ICT in the country and have shown exemplary service in the lives of people with disabilities.

Mada has total twenty-seven (27) employees who are distributed within five main functions as shown in the organization chart in Exhibit (A).

Mada has an ambition to become a model for AT for Arabic Speakers. AT will be useful since there are approximately 26 million disabled people in the Arab region, who are suffering from the general lack of Arabic supporting AT software.

Its vision is to empower people with disabilities (PWD) through ICT hence its dedication towards development of AT in Arabic language. Thus, in order to achieve this optimum vision, Mada’s core objective is digital inclusion bolstered by their goal of promoting digital literacy and improving cognitive skills in addition to the following main objectives:

  1. Raise awareness about disabilities in general.
  2. Raise awareness about AT.
  3. Raise awareness of Mada center services.

According to Mr. Ahmed Habib, Mada’s Head of Communication Awareness and Outreach, Mada does not have any problems in achieving the third objective. However, they are facing difficulties when trying to accomplish their first two objectives. “We face real problems with public’s lack of understanding of the term ‘Assistive Technologies’. This is made worse by lack of the Arabic Translation of the term.” said Habib.

Mada’s annual budget is QAR20 million, including Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) and Operating Expenditure (OPEX). An expenditure of over QAR3.5 million was invested last year in making required technologies available for people with disabilities in Qatar. The annual budget requirements are provided by ictQATAR. Additionally, ictQATAR provides two floors exclusively for Mada activities in its 22floors tower building and IT support services. Qatar’s two major telecommunications companies, Ooredoo and Vodafone, the telecommunication service providers companies in Qatar, offer some support as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs.

It may be generally stated that Qatari based companies prefer to engage in high visibility and quick win CSR activities such as sports activities, than supporting low visibility programs such as disability. Disability oriented programs tend to serve a small niche segment and generally have long time span to realize their benefits. However, CSR programs concentrating disability issues are actually more beneficial than most high visibility CSR programs.

Disabilities Situation in Qatar at Glance

In a press conference held in 2009 with representatives of a number of organizations working for PWD, Sheikha Hessa, Special Rapporteur on Disability of the United Nations, stated that the attention and care for Qatar’s PWD that began years earlier and had gained momentum due to support of her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned. Such initiatives led to the formation of the National Committee for Persons with Special Needs, led to the emergence of other disability centers such as Shafallah Center, Al Noor Institute for the Blind, Audio and Intellectual Education centers amongst others. The complete list of disabilities institutions is in Exhibit (B).

Despite the efforts of the country leaders, the Qatari society very conservative, the past decade or so saw the opening up of the Qatari society but issues dealing with disabilities remain a very sensitive subject for many families who have children with disabilities. Some families still find it very hard to report that or accept the idea of showing up their kids with disabilities to the public. This lack of acceptance or denial of reality is even more complicated if the disabled person is a female family member. Families are not encouraged to report the presence of disabled family members unless there are tangible incentives attached to it such as getting disability car parking permit from Traffic Department.

To complement government efforts towards people with disabilities, different organizations took some actions for instance e-accessibility policy which was issued by ictQATAR.  Under this policy public sector organizations are expected to provide accessible content and services in compliance with WCAG 2.0 AA level of standard. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) on the other hand can be used for people with hearing, visual, and physical impairments. Digital media companies are also encouraged to increase accessibility of their content provided through e-books and video captioning. Many of five star hotels started to recognize special needs of disabled people hence the provision of specially equipped rooms for the comfort of physically disabled guests.

Generally, Doha can’t be considered as an easily accessible city, in terms of streets and buildings setup. However, Qatar has a clear commitment towards people with disabilities. This commitment is exhibited through the promulgation of laws and regulations as well as the establishment of total 18 institutions which are dedicated to serve disabled and special needs people.

Total number of registered disabled people in Qatar is 3,988, of which 1,551 were female and 2,437 were male, according to the 2012 national census. The figure includes both Qataris and Expats. Table 1 below show shows the proportional make up of the type of disabilities. However, more detailed statistics about disabilities in Qatar are presented in Exhibit (C) of this case.

Disability Type


Physical Disabilities 30.9%
Multiple Disabilities 27.7%
Mental Disabilities 25.6%
Hearing Impairments 10.8%
Vision Impairments 4.8%

Table 1 Percentage of People With Disabilities in Qatar

Although most of the disabilities mentioned in Table 1 above are discovered after baby’s birth, it is worth mentioning that there are other types of disabilities that can’t be diagnosed immediately after the baby is born. These types of disabilities, such as dyslexia, autisms, low attention level, behavioral and reaction disorder, communication disorder, and hyperactivity syndrome, are only discovered in the later stages of a child’s development. There are no official statistics in Qatar about such types of disabilities, although they are internationally and regionally reported, as illustrated in Exhibit (C).

In many cases people with disabilities are shy to talk or to show their disability in public. Families on the other hand, are shy to their disabled kids to the community since there are some misconceptions about people with disabilities in the Arab world. Majority of Arab population believe that people with disabilities are pathetic, dependent and heartbreaking.

There are other reasons that prevent people with disabilities to be easily seen in public, things such as lack of public facilities to enable disabled people to move across the city easily without being in need for second party support means that the general public will never get used to seeing disabled people and hence are inexperienced in terms of interacting naturally with disabled people.

Educators and staff in public schools are “not accessible” as well, since they lack requisite skills and abilities to deal with special needs people. Most schools buildings don’t have provisions for disabled people, resultantly a large population of people with disabilities are not getting proper level of education hence their employment opportunities are similarly curtailed.

Employers on the other hand, face the challenge of inclusion of assistive technologies in the workplace in order to be able to hire personnel with special needs since the equipment required to be installed for the use of one disable person is very costly and there is a general lack of incentives to take such initiatives. Companies should be appropriately incentivized in order for them to engage in preferential employment of disabled people.

Mada-QATC Service Offerings

Mada center provides six outstanding services to enrich life of people with disabilities and provide seamless communication with the community. These services are provided to people with disabilities and their families, in addition to the public sector including schools and other institutions. As follows:

  1. Assessment: the center provides a comprehensive one to one assessment service to its clients, by an AT specialist. The outcome of this consultation service reveals identifying individual needs for information and communication technologies, by observing the way they interact with the technologies available in the center. Parents or personal assistants are involved in the consultation process. It’s continual process where comprehensive report is issued. The report includes support plan and recommended ATs.
  2. Resource Center: the center is open for individuals, educators and professionals who are seeking advisory services on best ATs that can be used based on need. It gives them the opportunity to experience wide range of devices by themselves. Almost 100 people with disabilities got free or open source software solutions and accessible digital content. More than 300 clients took the advantage of short or long-term loan program in 2011. The center showed its success though increased number of visitors to the resource center. 
  3. Training Services: Mada provided 40 training courses related to best practices in ATs and developing accessible websites for more than 400 teachers, therapist and web site developers, in both Arabic and English languages.More than 500 people with disabilities received bilingual copies of the curriculum, and 300 disabled people were supplied with hands-on trainings.
  4. AT in Independent Schools: Mada outreach team work closely with schools across Qatar to raise their awareness about ATs through informative presentations, arranging for a competitions for best bulletin and short stories writing.  The winners are then recognized at a ceremony held in Mada resource center. Mada provides consultation services to schools to help them identify the scale of ATs required in schools, and support the schools to develop supplementary materials that will utilize ATs in the classroom.
  5. Research and Development: Mada is involved in supporting the localization and translation of existing content for people with disabilities. The center also works hard to promote development of ATs for Arabic speaking people with disabilities, through collaboration with research institutes, private sectors, and through local capacity building
  6. E-Accessibility: this service is was launched to support ictQATAR launch of e-accessibility policy, where Mada offers reviewing, auditing, training and technical support for the organizations willing to implement the e-accessibility standards in their websites, mobile applications, online audio and video materials, and ATMs. The detail of web-site accessibility-auditing program is available in Exhibit (D).

The center is serves five main types of disabilities, and it provides latest AT devices designed for them as summarized in Table 2 hereunder. More detailed information about services provided by Mada per technology and disability type, is found in Exhibit (F).

Disability Type Description
Vision Impaired Icon Vision Impairments Assistive technology for people who are blind or have low vision.
Hearing Impaired icon Hearing Impairments Products for the deaf and those experiencing hearing loss.
Learning difficulties icon Learning Impairments Software and Hardware solutions for children and adults with Learning or Cognitive Disabilities, including those with Dyslexia and other reading/writing difficulties.
Physical Disabilities Physical Disabilities Technology that provide access to ICT for people with wide ranges of physical needs
Communication disabilities Communication Impairments Products and technology that enable communication for children and adults with speech and language difficulties.

Table 2: AT provided by Mada per Disability Type

Mada-QATC Target Segment

Mada main target audience is people with disabilities in the country. Five major disability types are considered: Vision Impairments, Hearing Impairments, Learning Impairments, Physical Disabilities, and Communication Impairments. According to Mada’s unofficial estimates, there are 25,000 people with disabilities in the country. Estimate from Mada is approximately 84% more than officially reported census in 2012 found in Exhibit (C).

Along with the core target segment and in order to achieve its high level objectives, Mada has identified the following target audiences for 2013 communication plan:

  1. General Public
  2. Students
  3. Disabled people’s organizations (Listed in Exhibit-B)
  4. Parents, Caregivers, and Families
  5. Assistive Technology Professionals
  6. Healthcare Professionals
  7. Education Professionals
  8. IT professionals
  9. Research / Innovation Community in Assistive Technology Industry
  10. Decision / Policy Makers in the country
  11. Potential Funders

It is worth mentioning that the majority of the above target audiences consider Mada as a subsidiary of ictQATAR. This erroneous link to ictQatar puts them in a position where they are not able to raise much needed funds which will eventually make it possible to achieve their main targets.

Mada Awareness/Communication and Outreaching Strategy

Mada utilizes all available means of communication to raise societal awareness about their unique services that they offer such as ATs and services for people with disabilities. The outreach strategy of Mada involves effective participation in the following major events:

  1. Ramadan Events
  2. QitCom Conference
  3. Summer Kid’s Program
  4. GCC e-Government Expo
  5. GCC Disability Forum
  6. White Cane Day
  7. Accessible Gaming Night
  8. AT Seminar: Technology and Employment for the Disabled
  9. International Autism Day
  10. Regional Meeting of Rehabilitation International

Comprehensive detailed list of 2013 marketing activities are shown in Exhibit (G).

Mada has a digital presence in most publically known social media networks such as Facebook (, Twitter (, Youtube ( They launched a revamped website in November 2013 and ( which is classified as Level-2 in terms of accessibility standards in addition to portal (, which is one of the only four specialized portals for ATs and first bilingual portal in the world. Through this portal visitors can download software for people with disabilities, access different type of resources specially designed for people with disabilities, read and write Blogs and become aware of Mada’s scheduled events. Statistical information about the activities on these digital means is available in Exhibit (E).

At the same time they also use traditional communication channels such as, printing press releases in most newspapers locally, launch TV advertisement and participate in Radio programs.

The center has an open door communication policy where anyone can visit the center anytime to meet the staff or they can subscribe online and schedule for a meeting with Assistive Technology Specialists through the portal.

The Dilemma

Mrs. Amal Mohammed, a well-educated mother of a 9 years old daughter with Dyslexia said, “I never heard about Mada center before. I surfed the Internet where I could reach out to centers in other countries like Kuwait, but Mada was not ever shown on the list of Google search results. I approached couple of the specialized institutions for consultation and to provide me with some guidance on appropriate solutions to facilitate my daughter’s education, but unfortunately I found very traditional level of service offering. Moreover, I discovered that they will have negative impact on my daughter’s future, since they keep all children with different types of disabilities including severe disabilities such as Mongolian down syndrome, physical disabilities, etc. in one classroom. Moreover, the educators and staff of those centers were of negative attitude and were not welcoming at all. If I were aware of Mada three years ago I would have approached them and worked on my daughter’s education at home at earlier stages. I strongly believe they didn’t do good marketing and definitely have issues in their communication plan, I think that publishing an advertisement in one of the street billboards would make the job.”

It seems that Mrs. Amal is right! Mada offers unique services in the country and in the region, but over the last three years, the center was able to reach out to only 1,000 clients out of total 25,000-estimated number of people with special needs in the country. They were also able to facilitate the employment of only 3 disabled people during that period.

Mr. Habib believed that there is a communication problem. Resultantly, Mada commissioned Burson Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications company, with headquarters located in New York, Miami, Hong Kong and Brussels to develop a publicity and communication strategy for them.

The consultancy firm advised Mada to focus on more narrow audiences in Mada’s communication plan. Disability is very complex subject and it’s clear that raising awareness and society’s understanding of the matter is affecting Mada’s operation, and its undoubtedly impacting a wide range of people, either directly or indirectly. However, extending their sphere of influence too far will end up including whole population in one segment or another. Attempting to reach all relevant audiences simultaneously would require sustainable and significant investment, and will dilute the message, in a way that general awareness may be raised but specific messages that benefit Mada and the served people would be much reduced. Thus the communication strategy must remain focused.

Mada is the dominant ATs solutions provider in Qatar, but it is positioned in many people minds as a government entity. This perception is affecting Mada’s financial objectives in 2013 to attract potential funders of private and public organizations in the country through CSR programs. According to Mr. Habib, Mada targeted to raise their fund up to QAR4,000,000 but he confirmed, “We were able to raise by only QAR1,000,000.” Moreover, people with disabilities and their families have bad experiences from their interactions with few other disabilities institutes and these experiences means that they have lost faith in all other centers offering similar services.

Ahmed Habib, strongly believes that achieving Mada’s objectives require developing extraordinary marketing activities and to shift from current methodology of measuring its success by establishing qualitative measures rather than existing quantitative performance indicators like number of marketing activities or events taking place annually.

Ahmed strongly believes that Mada’s services will positively transform lives of people with disabilities once people are aware of their services, but with the socio-cultural barriers, limited funds and human resources, what will be the best way to reach out to them and allow them to realize this fact?

“I think we in the coming years we need to become engaged more into public relations activities and put more efforts in building partnership and relationship with the decision makers, business owners and policy makers in the country, rather than wasting our scares resources of time and money on big number of public communication activities” said Ahmed.


Ahmed Habib, believes that there is still a way where Mada can achieve three main objectives and is seeking a marketer support to develop an effective communication strategy for the coming three years. The new marketing plan will be focused and at the same time would ensure that maximum number of the identified target audiences is reached.

Then if Mada chooses to follow the marketing and communication strategies then the following questions need to be asked. Is engagement in public relation activities is more beneficial for Mada as Ahmed think or it should be combination of public relations and marketing activities? Are there any other effective communication channels that will lead to more tangible results, which will support Mada to reach out to mass number of people with disabilities in the country, taking into consideration socio-cultural factor, new attractive channels like Qatari National Sports days (QNSD) and Doha Film Festival (DFF)?

How can Mada change its current positioning in the mindset of the general public including people with disabilities and their families? How this can be reflected in the new communication strategy?

In the coming section of the case we tried to come up with recommendations. Based on our analysis we figured out that this case is demonstrating a case of Integrated Marketing Communication issue… 

Recommendations and Proposed Integrated Marketing Communication Plan:

In the following section we are presenting our recommendations and solution for the case in question.

Proposed Strategy for Mada Service Offerings:

The proposed strategy encompasses building of a Mada new brand equity that is driven by quality service provision. Based on this broad vision of quality service provision, it is recommended to combine and brand the service offerings according to the perceived requirements of the target audience. There is a belief that perception is reality, therefore the main objective of this strategic step is to change public perception about Mada being government entity and to make a clear distinction between Mada and other available disability institutions in Qatar:

–       (Core Service Offerings – BRAND#1): we recommend combining Assessment and Resource Center Services under one brand name, since these two services are complementary services and serving same target audience i.e. people with disabilities and their families.

–       (Secondary Service Offerings – BRAND#2): we propose to combine Training Services and E-Accessibility services services under one brand name, since these two services target professionals in public and private sectors to promote e-accessibility policy and practices.

–       Research and Development is an internal mandate for Mada and will eventually enrich the core service offerings or BRAND#1.This service offering emerges through partnership with external specialized organizations in developing AT solutions for people with disabilities.

Strategically Mada should avoid mentioning that it was established by ictQATAR, and stress more on the being a public private partnership organization. Mada should list ictQatar ictQATAR along with other partners such as Ooredoo and Vodafone as some of the strategic partners in the provision of services for the disabled people.

Also we believe that constructing partnerships with international AT solution providers and local disabilities institutions will strengthen Mada position locally and in Arab world. Such Arab-wide position will result in a larger sphere of influence thus providing greater access to people with disabilities.

Proposed Integrated Marketing Communication:

Burson Marsteller – Consultant said, “Disability is very complex subject and it’s clear that raising awareness and society’s understanding of the matter is affecting Mada’s operation…” In our point of view raising awareness about disabilities can be achieved indirectly through Mada’s successful deliverance of core service provision to its core target audiences of people with disabilities and their families. Thus we strongly believe that this target audience can be effectively accessed only through special communication channels since target segment is very special. So participating in numerous numbers of public marketing events, which do not focus on core beneficiaries of Mada services, is waste of time and money. Mada is strongly recommended to implement the following Integrated Marketing Communication plan, which has been drawn from Mada’s communication plan and our new proposed strategy presented earlier

1.     Target Audiences:

We propose to classify Mada’s target audiences into three main categories, where each category can then be approached through suitable communication channel according to the communication objectives:

a.     Partners

i.     Potential Funders (CSR programs)

ii.     External organizations specialized in developing AT solution

b.     Core Service Offerings Beneficiaries:

i.     People with disabilities (End Users of Mada Services)

ii.     Families and care givers of people with disabilities (Influencers)

iii.     Institutions for people with disabilities (Channel to people with disabilities and their families)

iv.     Schools running disabilities integration programs (Channel to people with disabilities and their families)

c.     Secondary Service Offerings Beneficiaries:

i.     Public Organization

ii.     Private Organization

2.     Communication Objectives

Based on our reviews and analysis, we suggest below objectives per each of identified target audience:

General Public

–       Keep society aware of Mada’s roles and services

–       Contribute to Qatar vision 2030


–       Enhance AT solutions

–       Develop Arabic Support AT solutions

–       Raising fund as services or financial aid

–       Promote the idea of contributing into disabilities initiatives as part of CSR programs

Core Service Offerings Beneficiaries

–       Realize potential of AT in improving lives of people with disabilities

–       Increase number of core service offerings beneficiaries

–        Raise awareness of Mada core service offerings

Secondary Service Offerings Beneficiaries

–       Promote practices of e-accessibility policy

–       Enrich local content that supports AT software and hardware

–       Increase number of accessibility certified websites through Mada e-accessibility accreditation program

3.     Proposed Integrated Marketing Communication Plan   

Our proposed marketing communication plan is a framework that involves the overall communication framework and three specific communication channels as illustrated in diagram below:

Mada-Overall Communication Framework

Marketing Communication Framework

a.     Overall Communication Framework:

This framework ensures that main messages are conveyed in timely manner and consistency through all communication channels. Through this framework, Mada will utilize traditional communication channels such as website, social media and e-newsletters, to share latest news and updates.

i.     Public Events

We strongly believe that sending one strong message to the society is more efficient than participating in several events at the same time. “International Disabilities Day” for instance is perfect day to raise people awareness about disabilities. Mada could engage in one of the communications tactic such as conducting “silent acting campaign” in one of big malls in Qatar will shake the society and drag their attention to the people with disabilities fair demands. Please check this campaign conducted by Khawater show in the following link: (

 ii.     Teasing TV Advertising and Posters

These posters should be designed in simple but attractive manner with barcode that will navigate the user to Mada website, or broadcast teasing advertisement similar to the following TV Ad to speak out and reject violence and gun usage (

 iii.     New Media Channels (Digital Media):

It’s worth to mention that Mada need to work on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), so that it appears on top 3-5 top sites when searching for “disabilities Qatar” since the word “Assistive Technology” is not well known as discussed in the case, this will ensure more visitors will receive from the search engine’s users.

On the other hand, there should be clear strategy and dedicated personnel to maintain them up to date increase Mada spread through the use of social media accounts since it is powerful media tool.

Proposed Measures:

The following indicators can be used as measures of success or failure of above communication plan:

  • Visits and downloads from Mada site/Youtube channel
  • Media coverage attained
  • Number and type of calls/inquiries received after the campaign

b.     Core Service Offerings Marketing Communication Channel:

Assistive Technology concerns niche group of target audiences, so we believe that Mada can reach through specific communication channels. These channels are the 18th disability institutions, where Mada can build resource centers similar to the one that is established in the center headquarters, but they must be focused and in small scale. Mada also need to build local capabilities within these institutions to act as AT specialists and they will allow students with disabilities and their families to realize the potential of AT by themselves and will encourage them to approach Mada to buy the suitable AT hardware from them through the universal loan system and other supporting promotion mix (Like discounted broadband services from Ooredoo or Vodafone, special discounted prices on laptops from certain laptop distributors in Qatar such as Jarier or Carefour).


The following indicators can be used as measures of success or failure of above communication plan:

  • Number of People with disabilities who received specialized training and get benefit from the loan system provided by Mada
  • Families feedback on AT and type of their inquiries
  • Number of people with disabilities who’s life transformed positively after using AT (Success Stories)

c.     Secondary Service Offerings Marketing Communication Channel:

–       Newspaper announcement and direct invitation sent out to various organizations to participate in the training workshops.

–       Running competition for Level 2 and 3 e-accessible website, where the winner will be announced in newspaper.


The following indicators can be used as measures of success or failure of above communication plan:

  • Number of delivered workshops
  • Number of attendees
  • Number of sites that are e-accessibility certified

d.     Partners Communication Channel:

Partners can be attracted by preparing list of initiatives that need their sponsorship, and sell them these ideas. Organizations will appreciate CSR programs other than sports related initiatives, specially after issuing “White Book” by Al-Sharq Publishing Agency, where they evaluated and collected information about Qatari organizations CSR activities. Please check out the following article (أخبار/328212/بالصور–الرئيس-التنفيذي-لــ-دار-الشرق–يدشن–الكتاب-الأبيض- )


The following indicators can be used as measures of success or failure of above communication plan:

  • Increase in collected fund
  • Number of new organizations adopting CSR programs for Mada
  • Number of signed strategic agreements with partners
  • Number of produced AT software and hardware supporting Arabic language

4.     Evaluate the Results

Its important to evaluate and measure success of the marketing communication plan by setting up measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), both quantitative and qualitative, for the conducting marketing tactics, for continuous improvement purposes and for evaluating return on investment.

This evalaution can be through surveys and measuring online activities such as number of hits and interaction with online visitors. According to Ahmed, it is beleved that Mada will start these activities soon, which would  be a very important step for future planning.

[1] Mada’s annual report 2011-2012


Exhibit (A)

Mada organization chart – 2013

Mada Org Chart 2013

Exhibit (B)

Disabilities Institutions in Qatar and the served segment 

# Institution Mental Physical Disability Vision Hearing Learning Difficulties Speaking and Language Autism Combined Disabilities Others
1 Children Rehabilitation Department (Special Education)
2 Shafalah Center
3 The Learning Center
4 Al-Noor Institute
5 Speaking Center
6 Physiotherapy Center
7 Functional Therapy Center
8 Prosthesis Department
9 Qatari Union For Special Needs Sports
10 Hearing Impairment School-Girls
11 Hearing Impairment School-Boys
12 Qatari Society for Rehabilitation of Special Needs
13 Socio Cultural Center for Special Needs
14 Education Center for Special Needs
15 Rehabilitation Center for Boys
16 Rehabilitation Center for Boys
17 Tamakon School
18 Doha International Center

Exhibit (C):

Disabilities statistics in Qatar

# Disability Type Qatari-Male Qatari-Female Qatari-Male Qatari-Female Total
1 Mental Retardation 324 244 288 166 1022
2 Multiple Disability 352 266 288 202 1108
3 Physical Disability 489 269 326 150 1234
4 Hearing Impairment 96 90 152 94 432
5 Visual Impairment 79 53 43 17 192
Total 1340 922 1097 629 3988
2262 1726
  • Disabilities Types in Qatar – Census 2012, Source: Supreme Council for Family Affairs
  • Available statistics indicated that Qatar’s disability prevalence was lower than international standards. However, the same statistics also stated that the disability prevalence was growing in Qatar. Surveys in 2009 revealed that PWD grew to 23% since 2007. Additionally, people aged 65 and above, had almost doubled from 8,650 in 2000 to 15,708 in 2010 (ictQatar, 2011).

Disabilities statistics International and Regional (GCC)

# Disability Type International % GCC %
1 Mental Retardation 2.5 0.9
2 Visual Impairment 0.1 0.8
3 Hearing Impairment 0.6 0.1
4 Physical Disability 0.5 0.3
5 Learning Difficulties 0.5 1.8
6 Communication Impairment 3.5 1.4
7 Behavioral and Reaction Disorder 0.5 0.7
8 Autism 0.67 0.6
9 Multiple Disabilities 0.19
10 Low Attention Level and Hyperactivity Disorder 0.6 12.6
  • Disabilities Percentages in GCC and Worldwide, Source: Supreme Council for Family Affairs
  • World Bank published a report in 2007 on disability prevalence that estimated that 10-12% of the global population had a disability (Mont, 2007). This proportion increased to 18% if age-related disabilities were also included, implying that there were 1.23B PWD.
 Disabilities by Gender and type

Distribution of People With Disabilities (PWD) in Qatar by Gender

Source: Qatar Statistical Authority, 2010 Census

  • Number of PWD by Difficulty Type, Source: Qatar Statistical Authority, 2010 Census

Exhibit (D):

e-accessibility accreditation program

Accreditation Level Description
Level 1 – Access PlanningMada accessibility program level of access planning A badge is awarded to an organization which agrees to implement an action plan to increase the accessibility of their website based on audit reviews, staff training, and the implementation of policy and processes.
Level 2 – Access CertifiedMada accessibility program level of access certified This level of recognition goes to websites that achieve standards outlined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 priority level A and AA. The website and its accreditation are renewed annually following review and validation.
Level 3 – Access AwardMada Accessibility program level of access award The highest level of accreditation is awarded to websites that demonstrate accessibility in a fashion that goes beyond the standards outlined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 priority level AA. In such instances, websites feature innovate solutions in the areas of user functionality.
  • Source: Mada website

Exhibit (E):

Mada digital media statistics  

Digital Media Statistics as of (December 2013)
  • 7 Friends connected with Mada Facebook account
  • 112 photos uploaded (mainly about the conducted workshops and other events)
  • 4,256 Flowers
  • 291 Following
  • 3,541 Tweets
  • 26 playlists of total 63 videos
  • 652 view to all uploaded videos
Mada website N/A
Mada portal  1/11/2013 – 24/12/2013Mada website visitorsMada website hits by country

Average visits vs Unique New Visits

Exhibit (F):

Mada AT provision by technology type and disability type

 Disabilities population in Qatar

Exhibit (G):

Marketing activities in 2012

Public Events:

1. Autism Celebrations at Souq Waguf

2. Lunch & Learn Presentation at Georgetown University in Qatar

3.  Participation in Qatar Career Fair

4.  Participation in the Tech & Higher Learning Conf. (QF)

5.  e-Accessibility Majlis

6.  “Building Accessible Spaces” walk around at Georgetown University in Qatar

7.  Participation in Gulf Assistive Technology Network Meeting

8.  Autism Public Seminar

9.  Autism Parent’s Night

10. QSCCB Community Forum (Zello)

11. Open House forQatar’s Children Museum

12.  e-Accessibility event with ictQATAR

13.  Fun with AT with Sunbeam

14.  QSCCB RaMadan Activity

15.  Landmark RaMadan Activity

16.  Rumaillah Hospital RaMadan Activity

17. ictQatar RaMadan Activity

18. Accessibility Awareness Talk to New Students at Georgetown U in Q

19. MOU signing with Al Noor Institute for the Blind

20. Community forum on Accessible Media at QSCCB

21. e-Accessibility Majlis

22.Inclusion conference in Al Wakra

 News Stories – Print & Online:

1.Mada Celebrates World Autism Awareness Day (5 appearances)

2. Qatar invites Kuwaiti Dyslexia Association to Participate

3. Mada offers technology for the Blind

4.Technology and the creation of accessible sports stadiums

5.Mada offers technology that changes lives

6. State of general accessibility in Qatar

7. The Emir’s Cup visits Mada

8.Mada & HMC sign MOU (9 appearances)

9.Mada & ictQatar e-Accessibility event (12 appearances)

10. Accessible ATMs

11.Creative Commons interview with Mada CEO

12. Interview with Ahmed Habib & Anirban Lahiri in US Ability

13.Mada Al Noor MOU signing

14.Prime Minister Visit to Mada

15.Inclusion exhibit in Al Wakra

Media Coverage – Radio & TV

1. Qatar TV News Coverage of Autism Day

2.  Al Rayyan TV News Coverage of Autism Day

3.  In Studio interview with Reem Al Mansouri on Autism

4.  QF Radio (English) Interview about Autism Day

5.  Al Jazeera (Arabic) Interview with Ahmed Habib on Art & AT

6.  QF Radio (English) coverage of e-Accessibility Majlis

7.  Al Rayyan TV News Coverage of Autism Seminar (May 29)

8.  ictQATAR film on VOE

9.  ictQATAR film on Qatar Domain Registry

10. In Studio interview with Ahmed Habib about HMC MOU

11. Al Rayyan TV coverage of ictQATAR/Mada e-Accessibility event

12. QF Radio (English) on science show

13.  QF Radio (English) interview on Morning Show

14.  Prime Minister Visit to Mada

15.  Inclusion exhibit in Al Wakra

16. QF Radio English Morning Show

17. QF Radio Arabic Science Show

18.Al Rayyan piece on Arabic AT

19. Al Rayyan in-studio interview with Ohood Al Sheeb

20. Stars of Science appearance by Aejaz

21. Stars of Science appearance by Anirban and Ahmed


  1. (2011). Special Report: AT for the Arab World, The BETT education Show Preview.
  2. Supreme Council For Family Affairs(2012). Services Provided by the Institutions to the People with Disabilities.
  3. The Peninsula. (2013, Jun 25). Persons with disabilities struggle to reach public places in Qatar, Global Accessibility News on Nov 16th 2013.
  4. Mada (2011-2012) Annual Report [online] Available from: Retrieved on Nov 17th, 2013.
  5. Marsteller, B(2013-2014). Mada communication strategy 2013-2014,
  6. Mada communication plan 2013.
  7. (2012). Mada, Qatar Assistive technology center. Available from: Retrieved on Nov 20th,2013.
  8. (2012). Mada portal. Available from: Retrieved on Nov 13th, 2013.

About aemadi

Qatari Information Technology professional. Who witnessed technology revolution back in 1995. Master in Business Administration, from Qatar University. Perfectionist and passionate about my country. Hopefully will leave thumbnail to this live.
هذا المنشور نشر في Case Studies وكلماته الدلالية , , , , , , , , , , . حفظ الرابط الثابت.

4 Responses to Mada-QATC Reaching Out the Horizon

  1. wnyddnews كتب:

    Reblogged this on wnyddnews and commented:
    Not about news here in WNY but an interesting read nonetheless!

  2. Fatma Al aamri كتب:

    Amazing work Ameena as usual 🙂

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