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Qualitative Data Collected by Variable for Qatar

Country Laws and Regulations

  • General Law protecting the Rights of Persons with Disabilities:

In Part Two (Guiding Principles of Society) of the Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar, Article 18 explicitly states, “justice, benevolence, freedom, equality and high moral standards are core values of the Qatari society,” (Article 18 of The Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar) whereas Article 19 states, “The State shall safeguard the foundations of the society and ensure security, stability and equal opportunities for all citizens.” ( Article 19 of The Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar)

In Part Three (Public Rights and Duties) of the Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar, Article 34 explicitly states, “Citizens shall be equal in terms of public rights and duties.” ( Article 34 of The Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar) Furthermore, Article 35 states, “All persons are equal before the Law and there shall be no discrimination whatsoever on grounds of gender, race, language or religion.” ( Article 35 of The Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar)

Having constitutional articles that specifically outline the centrality of equality and non-discrimination in the eyes of the law forms a critical backbone on which all legislations and regulations relating to disability can find legitimacy and support.

In 2004, Qatar issued law #2 in respect of Persons with Special Needs (Law No. 2 of 2004 in respect of People with Special Needs ) The law is comprehensive and far-reaching. Its articles address accessibility in the following domains: technology, employment, education, and vocational training, rehabilitation, transportation, social care, independent living, social and cultural participation, sports and entertainment, and financial support. The law also contains articles that make explicit reference to the issuance of fines as punitive measures to ensure its application, primarily in the public sector. The status of the law is in force.

Additionally, the State of Qatar has ratified the UNCRPD on May 13, 2008, after it came into effect on May 3rd of the same year. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the UNCRPD) is the first human rights treaty of the 21st century, and the first binding instrument specifically focused on protecting persons with disabilities within the framework of the UN's universal system of human rights. As per Article 6 of Qatar’s Permanent Constitution, “The State shall respect international charters and conventions and shall strive to implement all international agreements, charters and conventions to which it is party.”

The needs and rights of Persons with Disabilities are also explicitly addressed in other Qatari laws:


This law explicitly states that “Governmental bodies are obliged to provide employment for persons with disabilities in accordance with the provisions of Law No. (2) of 2004 on persons with disabilities and to provide them with all appropriate means to perform their job duties, and equipping their workplaces with requirements that suit their needs.”



  • The land transportation affairs of Ministry of Transportation and Communication has published several manuals that incorporate polices generated from international research and best practice design principle, traffic operation and safety performance as well as encompassing numerous technical changes in procedures and values that were customized for the unique needs and conditions of the state of Qatar. It accommodates the needs of all road users including pedestrians, cyclists, elderly, persons with disabilities as well as transit users in the state of Qatar.

In addition to the laws, The State of Qatar has also put in place key policies and regulations that have a direct impact on the lives of Persons with Disabilities in several domains. As follows:


  • In 2011, The State of Qatar issued the Qatar National e-Accessibility Policy, which is under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (Qatar’s e-Accessibility Policy) By 2019, the Minister of Ministry of Transport and Communications approve the draft of ICT accessibility legislation as first step toward the implementation of the accessibility law in the State of Qatar.
  • In 2018, the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers the State of Qatar's accession instrument to the Marrakesh Treaty. The treaty allows for copyright exceptions to enable the creation of books and other copyrighted works for visually impaired and print- persons with disabilities.
  • In June 2009, the Additional Educational Support Policy launched and administered by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. The policy presented a set of policies and guidelines to support students with disabilities.
  • In 2009, the Qatar Central Bank issued Directive No.73 regarding the provision of accessible banking services to Persons with Disabilities. The Directive specifically mandates the need to present critical information in alternative formats such as audio and Braille.



  • In 2009, the Qatar Central Bank issued Directive No.73 regarding the provision of accessible banking services to Persons with Disabilities. The Directive specifically mandates the need to present critical information in alternative formats such as audio and Braille.
  • Definition of ICT accessibility:

ICT accessibility is explicitly addressed in the National e-Accessibility Policy (Qatar’s e-Accessibility Policy), which was passed by the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (now replaced by the Ministry of Transport and Communications) in 2011.

The Policy is a first of its kind document for the MENA region and addresses accessibility to websites and mobile apps, telecommunications services, ATMs and public access terminals, and assistive technologies. It also includes a special call to action to make digital content accessible, particularly that which is produced in the Arabic language.

Additionally, ICT Accessibility is defined and explicitly outlined in Qatar’s National ICT Plan, launched in 2015 by the Supreme Council of Information and Technology (now the Ministry of Transport and Communications). Program 4 of the Plan (Boosting Capacity) contains the, “Accessibility for All” initiative.

It is described in the following manner, “ To ensure that ICT products and services in Qatar are accessible to all members of society—especially those with special needs—ictQATAR will work with Qatar’s Assistive Technology center, Mada, to formulate an e-accessibility policy. This policy will help persons with disabilities overcome major barriers in utilizing ICT in their daily lives. It will address issues including requirements for telecommunications service providers to offer accessible services and handsets, accessibility requirements for public sector websites, accessibility of public service terminals and automated teller machines, and recommendations for producers and distributors to provide accessible digital content. This policy will build on significant initiatives already undertaken by Mada, which opened in June 2010. Since then, the Center has helped hundreds of persons through training and providing them with technology to meet their needs.” (Qatar National ICT Plan)

  • Definition of Reasonable Accommodation:

Article 14 of Law No. 15 of 2016 (Civil Human Resources Law) promulgating the Civil Human Resources Law mentions, explicitly, the right of persons with disabilities to have an appropriate means to perform their job duties. This right, “Governmental bodies are obliged to provide employment for persons with disabilities in accordance with the provisions of Law No. (2) of 2004 on persons with disabilities and to provide them with all appropriate means to perform their job duties, and equipping their workplaces with requirements that suit their needs,” constitutes a clear definition of reasonable accommodation as part of a binding legislation.

Additionally, an addendum was added to Qatar's eAccessibility Policy (Qatar's eAccessibility Policy) as an Appendix C that contains a clear definition of Reasonable Accommodation as follows:


The National e-Accessibility Policy encourages public stakeholders to adhere to the principle of “Reasonable Accommodation,” as per the guidance of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), to which the State of Qatar is a signatory and a ratifying party.

“Reasonable Accommodation,” is understood to mean making necessary, proportionate and appropriate modifications and adjustments to ensure that Persons with Disabilities are empowered, in this case through ICT, to enjoy independent living, human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis.

In the context of the National e-Accessibility Policy; this will mean that all public sector organizations employing or providing services to Persons with Disabilities are encouraged to make accommodations, as per the standards outlined in the policy, to the way persons with disabilities interact with or use websites, web content for mobile devices, telecommunication services, ATMs and public access terminals or kiosks so that persons with disabilities are able to use these technologies on equal basis with their peers."

  • Universal Service Obligation includes Persons with Disabilities:

Section 5.4 of the National e-Accessibility Policy (Qatar's eAccessibility Policy )explicitly mentions: “As access to telecommunications services is mandatory for inclusion and integration in the ordinary economic and social mainstream of society today, ictQATAR [now the Ministry of Transport and Communications] requires that telecommunications service providers in Qatar ensure accessibility to critical telecommunications services and technologies.”

The policy then continues to list accessible handsets and interfaces; accessible public payphone services; accessible telecommunications services; accessible emergency services and compliance and monitoring as the main components of this part of the policy.

Additionally, the Consumer Protection Policy which is administered by the Communications Regulatory Authority in Qatar, makes specific reference to those complaints that are brought forward against telecoms operators by Persons with Disabilities (referred to as Persons with Special Needs).

Note that this process has been agreed to by the country's two telecoms operators (Vodafone and Ooredoo).

The Consumer Protection Policy clearly states that all complaints made by Persons with Disabilities to telecoms operators will be referred to the Communications Regulatory Authority if they are unresolved within 48 hours. For complaints brought forward by able bodied customers, the telecoms operator has up to 30 days to resolve the complaint, before it is brought to the Communications Regulatory Authority for adjudication.

This is clearly communicated on the Policy Website (Communications Regulatory Authority Consumer Complaint Process website ). Additionally, complaints made through the Communications Regulatory Authority app are prompted to identify whether they are a Person with a Disability or not.

Country Capacity to Implement

  • Government agency for Persons with Disabilities:

In 2019, a national committee was officially established for women, children, older persons and persons with disabilities. This will constitute an overarching entity for the creation of and delivery of strategies and services related to persons with disabilities.

Moreover, in the State of Qatar the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs is the government body officially tasked with the creation of and delivery of strategies and services related to persons with disabilities and the elderly (Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs). In Qatar, the following organizations are also public sector organizations that provide services and resources to persons with disabilities. Their efforts are coordinated to a high degree through a variety of national initiatives and strategies.





To know more about the above entities’ services and resources for persons with disabilities, visit Hukoomi Disability Portal.

Qatar Digital Government (Hukoomi), in cooperation with Mada Center, has developed a single digital platform that includes information about all resources and services available to persons with disabilities in the country. The Hukoomi Disability Portal is delivered in an accessible manner, and is embedded in the country’s wider e-government portal. Hukoomi Disability Portal was designed based on human rights approach to implement the UNCRPD. Qatar Digital Government was highlighted in the National Strategy for Information & Communication Technology (Qatar National ICT Plan ) which supports Qatar National Vision 2030.

  • Government agency for accessible ICTs:


In the State of Qatar, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) (Ministry of Transport and Communications) is responsible for ICTs in the country. Through a variety of programs, services and initiatives, the MOTC (endeavors to build a vibrant ICT sector that will spur the development of an advanced knowledge economy and a prosperous future for its people. To serve that purpose, the Ministry attaches particular importance to smart city, digital government and cyber security initiatives, along with a regulatory authority and several digital inclusion initiatives – including Mada Center which specifically focuses on the digital inclusion of persons with disabilities.

The Ministry also actively encourages innovations across different sectors, including ICT accessibility solutions through a variety of local, regional and global initiatives.

  • Process to involve DPOs in ICT accessibility policy making:

In the State of Qatar, government bodies working on developing laws and policies that impact the lives of persons with disabilities, set up interdisciplinary committees that include representation from PWDs and DPOs as a means of conducting consultation with the community.

An example of this, the National Committee of Autism which is responsible on designing plan, guidelines and frameworks, in 2017 established the Qatar’s National Autism Plan with the involvement of the autism community. The plan, which makes specific reference to the needs for increased ICT access, was driven by the National Committee, and is currently part of Qatar’s National Health Strategy.

For all the matters related to ICT Accessibility, Mada Center, a national initiative dedicated to accessible ICTs, has a systematic mechanism for the involvement of DPOs in the drafting, implementation and evaluation of relevant laws and policies.

As part of its commitment to the involvement of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and the Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs) that represents them, and in accordance with the international best practice of, "Nothing about us, without us," Mada adheres to a systemic mechanism of community consultation and involvement as related to the drafting, designing, implementation and evaluation of any of its public facing policies.

Mada also facilitates community consultations for key public sector stakeholders in Qatar through supporting with the organization of focus groups, surveys and town halls.

Since its establishment in 2010, Mada Qatar Assistive Technology Center has been actively changing the region’s digital landscape by providing resources and expertise to improve access for persons with disabilities to digital content. As the country’s leading e-accessibility authority, the Center played a critical part in creating Qatar’s National e-Accessibility Policy, a first-of-its-kind document for the region that encourages public sector organizations to implement international standards, namely WCAG 2.0 and 2.1 to websites, mobile applications, digital kiosks, public telephones, mobile handsets and digital content.

Since then, Mada has worked with numerous digital content providers to ensure that their platforms adhere to international standards and meet usability best practices. In specific, Mada has focused its efforts on the country’s most important public sector platforms, such as Qatar’s e-government and Ministry of Interior applications.

Those platforms that are successful in reaching certain levels of accessibility are recognized through a national accreditation system administered by Mada, while all major websites are registered in an automated e-accessibility monitor that keeps track of the country’s e-Accessibility score. It is needless to say that the impact of this work has been widely felt throughout the disability community in Qatar and has been recognized internationally by leading e-accessibility organizations.

Most notably, there are two indicators that embody the impact of Mada’s work in this field. In brief, Mada’s automated e-accessibility monitor indicated in 2019 that 94% of key government websites meet basic e-Accessibility standards. This is a tremendous achievement seeing that prior to Mada’s involvement, there were virtually no websites that were implementing any e-accessibility thinking on their platforms.

To perform its role as ICT Accessibility strategic enabler, Mada offers its strategic partners various services and activities. They are:

  1. Capability Building: Mada builds the capabilities of digital access specialists through specialized training programs and platforms designed and implemented according to the best international practices and standards to improve the quality of services provided to PWDs and the elderly.
  2. Digital Accessibility Services: Mada provides digital accessibility consulting services and accreditation for digital platforms in accordance with international standards to support the right of persons with disabilities and the elderly to access information independently.
  3. Advisory Services: Mada provides advisory services on ICT Accessibility, ICT ecosystem, digital accessibility policies, research and publications.
  4. Innovation: Mada works with its various partners and innovators to develop an ecosystem that is supportive of innovating technological solutions that promote digital access for PWDs and the elderly.
  5. Research and Publications: Identify ICT Accessibility research agenda and lead the advancement and dissemination of global, regional and local international industry leading practices. Mada also carries out research and analysis of ICT and develop publications covering ICT Accessibility, products and solutions, and accessible environments.
  6. Awareness Building: Mada runs promotion campaigns to raise awareness on impact of ICTs and ICT-accessibility and create a demand for action from the community. It also raises persons with disabilities’ awareness of what ICT can do to facilitate their economic and social inclusion.
  7. Policy Advocacy: The center supports the formulation of national sectorial policies and strategies which foster widespread availability of accessible ICTs through collaboration and partnerships. Mada also promotes effective national public policies to ensure accurate ICTs-enabled services are introduced.

  • Country refers to international ICT accessibility standards:

Mada Center implements a robust national e-accessibility program which explicitly references both WCAG 2.0 and 2.1. The program includes auditing digital platforms (websites, mobile apps, kiosks and digital content), offering remedial strategies, providing consultancy, conducting training and upskilling of designers and developers as well as a variety of public awareness initiatives. All of the program’s activities focus on the standards set by W3C – WAI WCAG 2.0 and 2.1.

As part of its commitment to the standards set out by W3C – WAI, the Mada Center recently became a member of W3C working groups with the aim of contributing to WCAG and any related guidelines, with an emphasis on localizing resources in the Arabic language.

To encourage the widespread implementation of Digital Accessibility standards, the Mada Center also implements a national accreditation system that recognizes websites that have achieved WCAG 2.0 or 2.1 AA standards. These websites are regularly monitored to ensure that the implementation of these standards does not falter with time.

In general, Mada Center monitors the accessibility of key public sector websites through a national monitoring system that runs periodic automatized code testing to ensure implementation of accessibility standards. Additionally, Mada Center conducts real life usability testing to ensure the true accessibility of said websites.

Additionally, Mada also uses the standards set out by the Americans with Disabilities Act as part of its work to improve the accessibility of ATMs and public access terminals or kiosks as outlined in the National e-Accessibility Policy.


In 2016, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) issued a Website and E-Services Framework (MOTC Website and e-Services Framework), developed to define a set of both standards and best practice guidelines for the overall design of government websites and e-Services.

In this document, the MOTC makes explicit reference to WCAG 2.0 and provides several examples of functionalities that are to be included in public sector websites and e-services.

These include:

  • Accessibility buttons: Space to include components such as Text Resizer, to assist persons with disabilities for easy access to the webpage content and services
  • Accessibility information in the footer including information on: how to change text size; tools to aid viewing website documents; how users can change color or contrast to suit; text to speech functionality, third party operability, and the website’s accessibility level per WCAG 2.0


In 2017, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC) issued the Mobile Services Framework (MOTC Mobile Services Framework) which aims to build a consistent, whole of government approach to adopting mobile technology in delivering government services according to the Qatar Digital Government strategy. In specific, the document aims to assist Government agencies in the design and deployment of mobile services based on international best practices and standards.

Within this Framework, the MOTC explicitly refers to WCAG 2.0 in a set of standards that government agencies are recommended to follow in developing their mobile services.

Standard 7 states:

"7.1 Agencies should ensure in mobile web and apps that methods of interaction are available for those that have disabilities. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) promulgated by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) should be referred. It covers the basic concept and best practices in making mobile applications accessible to persons with disabilities.

7.2 Agencies should also state the website’s accessibility level per WCAG 2.0.

7.3 Agencies should also refer to e-Accessibility Policy of Qatar."

  • ICT accessibility courses available at universities or professional education services:

There is a graduate program in special education at Qatar University, the country’s national university.

As well, e-Accessibility is covered extensively in several courses at Carnegie Mellon University Qatar, where this university offers undergraduate e-Accessibility courses in conjunction with Mada (Carnegie Mellon Qatar).

Most recently, Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) offers a graduate degree in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) with several courses and academic modules dedicated to digital accessibility.

Of particular note is that the Chair of the Program, Assistant Professor Dr. Dena Al Thani (Dr. Dena Al Thani Biography ) acts as a consultant to Mada in the areas of innovation and scientific research. This relationship between Mada and HBKU means that there is a vibrant synergy between service delivery and the academic world, ensuring that research is at the heart of Mada’s ICT Accessibility Strategy.

Finally, the Community College of Qatar offers courses on Digital Accessibility and Assistive Technology to its students as well.

Country Policy and Programs Outcomes

  • Web:

-Country Policies: Qatar ICT Accessibility Policy, Mada Web Monitor, Mada ICT Accessibility Services

MOTC Website and e-Services Framework

-Country Program: Digital Government Excellence Award 2019 / Category: best government portal or website, Nafath 6 Report: Qatar e-Accessibility Score for Government Websites Reaches 92%

  • TV and Multimedia:


  • Mobile Telephony:

-Country Policies: Qatar ICT Accessibility Policy , MOTC Mobile Services Framework, Portal Ooredoo Qatar

-Country Programs: Vodafone for All, Ooredoo & Mada Partnership, The Connected Initiative

Ooredoo , Vodafone for All , CRA – Complaints Mechanism

First Company to Achieve National Web Accreditation is expanding the Sign Language and Access Program

  • E-books and digital contents:

-Country Policies: Qatar signed the Marrakesh VIP Treaty

-Country Programs: Qatar National Library signed an agreement with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), paving the way for the Library to be part of the cross-border exchange of accessible books among the entities of the Accessible Books Consortium Global (ABC) Book Service.

Accessible Book – Qatar National Library

Qatar Bookshare

  • Promoting the Internet Availability and Usage among Persons with Disabilities:

-Country Policy: Qatar ICT Landscape, Qatar Wheel the World, Speed Test Index

Qatar University, Inclusion and Special Needs Support Center ,Georgetown University Qatar

Ministry Of Transport and Communication- Toolkits for Persons with Disabilities

Doha Declaration

-Country Programs:The Learning Center – Qatar Foundation, Mada AT Portal, Tawasol Symbol Portal, Mada’s Inclusive Digital Education Platform, Mada Training Programs in Education

Creative Teachers Training Program: Ministry of Education Graduate Teaching Skills and Tamheen Program

  • Inclusive ICTs for all in education:

-Country Policies: Ministry of Transport and Communication- Toolkits for Persons with Disabilities

Ministry of Education and higher Education, Ministry of Education and higher Education – Special Education Affairs, Doha Declaration

-Country Programs: The Learning Center – Qatar Foundation, Mada AT Portal,Tawasol Symbol Portal

Mada’s Inclusive Digital Education Platform, Mada Training Programs in Education

Creative Teachers training program:

Ministry of Education Graduate Teaching Skills, Tamheen Program, Qatar University, Inclusion and Special Needs Support Center, Georgetown University Qatar

  • Enabling ICTs for all in employment:

-Country Policies: Law No.15 of 2016 for Civil Human Resource - The law declared in article (14) that give the right of employment for persons with disabilities: Shafallah- Vocational Training Department

-Country Programs: Best Buddies - Vocational and Rehabilitation Programs

Nafath 6: Access to Employment” Program, A Successful Model for Persons with Disabilities to Qualify for Employment in Accordance with International Standards

Access to Employment Program Report (Arabic): The report covers all program aspects, the objective, methods, and the outcome of the program, Hukoomi Disability Portal – Employment

  • E-government and Smart Cities for all:

-Country Policies: Ministry of interior

-Country Programs: Tasmu - Smart Qatar, Qatar e-Government Portal, Hukoomi Portal for Persons with Disabilities

  • Enabling Assistive Technologies and ICTs for independent living:

-Country Policies: Mada Publication and BP: Independent Living

Qatar Assistive Technology Centre (MADA), in co-operation with the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), launched a Guide of Best Practices of Strategies and Services for Independent Living for Persons with Disabilities

-Country Programs: Pediatric Assistive Technology Clinic, Medical Therapeutic Services Department

Assistive Technology in Qatar University, Assistive Technology in Qatar National Library and Mada Assistive technology Services

  • Procurement of accessible public goods and services for all citizens: