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G3ict presents at 4th Annual Shafallah Center Forum on Children with Special Needs

  • Doha, Qatar
  • April 20-22, 2009


In Doha, the Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs organized its fourth forum April 20-22, attracting over 250 experts in disabilities and accessibility from around the world.  This intensive three days program on “independent living” allowed the audience to review experimental data on innovative ways to care for children with special needs including advanced methods for autistic children and to share multiple good practices to foster independent living.   H.H. Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned opened the forum which was also attended by several First Ladies and Cherie Blair, leading human rights lawyer and Patron of Scope.  Meeting agenda at: http://www.shafallahforum2009.org/schedule.htm


Besides an excellent program on therapies for children with disabilities and programs to prepare them for a successful employment, of particular interest to the G3ict delegation were the sessions on fostering employers support, the creation of micro-enterprises by persons with disabilities, creating smart environments with self-determination support technologies, and remarks by James Wolfensohn, Former President of the World Bank on “Breaking the Poverty Cycle: Promoting Inclusion for People with Disability”.

“Independent living in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” was presented by a delegation of G3ict panelists chaired by Ambassador Gallegos.   Axel Leblois covered the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in support of independent living, Pauley Tedoff shared experiences from developing nations and Ecuador in particular, Professor Licia Sbattella reported on the results of Politecnico di Milano in fostering full employment among its disabled alumni, and Victor Pineda of the Pineda Foundation shared his personal experience and commitment to promote the benefits of assistive technologies.

Autism is an important area of research at the Shafallah Center.  The Center shared with the Forum participants experimental therapies for children with autism.  The Shafallah Center also launched a highly visible nationwide awareness campaign on autism in April 2009 in support of World Autism Day.  Chairman Hassan Ali Bin Ali stated: “I am proud to promote and advocate for children with autism, as early diagnosis and intensive behavioral intervention programs are the only known methods for improving outcomes and reducing the severity of behaviors. It is therefore important for everyone to learn the signs so that early diagnosis can be determined.” 

Excerpt of G3ict program:

Digital Accessibility and Independent Living in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Moderated by:
His Excellency Luis Gallegos,
Ambassador of Ecuador to the United States and Past Chair of the United Nations Ad-hoc Preparatory Committee on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Axel Leblois, Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs
Professor Licia Sbattella,
President’s Delegate for Disabilities, Politecnico di Milano
Pauley Tedoff,
Special Disability Inclusion Projects for the Ecuadorian Government
Victor Pineda,
Founder of Victor Pineda Foundation