KKL-JNF, Access Israel, Start-Up Nation Central, and the Ministry of Regional Cooperation marked the International Day of “People of Determination” showcasing the most advanced accessibility technologies
Dubai, UAE, 3 December 2021: In recognition of the International Day of People of Determination marked on Friday, the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael – Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), Access Israel NGO, Start-Up Nation Central, and the Ministry of Regional Cooperation hosted a range of startups in the Israeli pavilion which is led by the Ministry of Foreign affairs in Expo2020 Dubai. The startups, from both Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), presented attendees with their most advanced accessibility technology.
As part of the unique presentation created by Access Israel, the visitors were invited to perform an urban obstacle course that enabled able-bodied people to experience the type of access challenges that disabled people who use wheelchairs or who are blind/visually impaired experience daily. This activity is part of an international collaboration supported by Google and Friends of Access Israel (FAISR). The partnership seeks to create an exchange of know-how and accelerate the development of aids for people with disabilities, who account for 15% of the world population, concurrently achieving one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The venture works to increase the awareness of the rights of people with disabilities, or People of Determination, as they are called in the UAE, to full equality. As a result of the activity, visitors to the Expo had a chance to experience for themselves what it’s like to live with disabilities and at the same time discover unique and practical solutions developed in Israel.
The Israeli technologies on display at Expo2020 Dubai include an Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) device developed by Voiceitt; medical technology and innovative communication technologies produced by EyeControl; an AI-based motion control system that analyses wheelchair seating positions developed by ReSymmetry; and a panoramic, 3D photography system that identifies accessibility obstacles in a range of terrains, including urban environments. Mahran Hamdan, the captain of Israel’s 2016 world cup-winning national wheelchair basketball team, also participated in the event.
Yuval Wagner, chair of Access Israel, a leader in promoting accessibility and social integration of people with disabilities, regards the Expo as an excellent opportunity for regional collaboration of knowledge, models, and technologies to improve the quality of life of 15% of the world’s population.
Merav Davidian, accessibility Officer at JNF, stated, “accessibility is a guiding principle at JNF, which offers 250 accessible sites in Israel. We will persist in our efforts to make Israeli nature accessible to all while protecting the environment and the topography.”
Michal Seror, Director ecosystem development at Start-Up Nation Central, commented, “The Israeli innovation ecosystem offers multiple technological solutions to a global challenge with the hope of enhancing the lives of people with disabilities and achieving a more precise lateral integration. Start-Up Nation Central regards the display of the Israeli techonolgy in Dubai as a direct continuation of our long-term partnership with the UAE.”
JNF, Access Israel, Start-Up Nation Central, the Ministry of Regional Cooperation, Google, and FAISR also created a collaborative social event to increase awareness. One hundred people with and without disabilities jointly created the logo of the International Disability Alliance on the Expo lawn by holding up blue umbrellas.
Accessible Hanukkah: on December 5, an accessible candle-lighting event will be held with an accessible Hanukkah menorah developed by Impact Labs and printed on a 3D printer. Product designers developed a special lighter that allows people with arm and hand disabilities to light the candles without the need for assistance. Concurrently, Access Israel, JNF, Google, and FAISR will hold a sports event featuring wheelchair basketball, blind football, a running race for the visually impaired, blind lawn bowling, and more.
About the Israeli Pavilion
The Israeli Pavilion is a project led by the Ministry of Foreign affairs, the pavilion is designed without walls, for maximum openness, attendees of Expo 2020 and beyond are invited to the Israel pavilion.
Israel is a place of innovation, offering a vision and horizon in dealing with the challenges of humanity. The pavilion has an emphasis on issues such as; agriculture, water, medicine, communications, and cyber problems. The pavilion will showcase its open and diverse society that provides equal rights to all its inhabitants, it is a society that respects different people and cultures and is a recognized and respected state among participating nations.
The Pavilion is to act as a platform for future business development – an initial point of contact between Israelis and trade partners visiting the exposition.
KKL-JNF is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that according to a special law of the Israeli Parliament (Knesset), operates as the National Forest Service and the Land Development Authority in Israel. Established over 120 years ago, KKL-JNF is considered one of the world’s oldest organizations operating in the field of environmental solutions. KKL-JNF is active in more than 55 countries throughout the world and works in cooperation with many governmental and non-governmental bodies to further common environmental interests. KKL-JNF is a strategic partner of the Israeli Government at Expo Dubai 2020.
About Access Israel:
Access Israel is an NGO established in Israel in 1999 and is a globally leading organization promoting accessibility and inclusion for people with all types of disabilities. Our organization strives to globally improve accessibility and inclusion for people with determination/disabilities via advocacy, education, promotion, experiential activities, universal design and technology. With each improvement, we empower people to live self-determined lives enabling them to work, travel, study, and consume with dignity, equality, and maximum independence. This is done by sharing our best practices, learning from other countries, and joining forces to create a global change.
About Start-Up Nation Central:
Start-Up Nation Central is the address for corporations, governments, and investors to connect with the Israeli tech ecosystem. Start-Up Nation Central catalyzes growth opportunities by bringing Israeli tech innovation to global business and societal challenges. Established in 2013 and headquartered in Tel-Aviv, Israel, Start-Up Nation Central is a not-for-profit organization funded by philanthropy.
The Ministry of Regional Cooperation:
The Ministry of Regional Cooperation was established to fulfill Israel’s desire – since the day of its founding – to strengthen its ties with its neighbors. It serves as the designated ministry for the sole purpose of enhancing, coordinating and facilitating bilateral and multilateral, governmental, non-governmental and private projects, throughout the region, including the Palestinian Authority, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, the Balkan states, African states and beyond. We specialize in complex projects, initiatives and ventures that involve several governmental ministries or agencies – local and foreign, public entities with NGOs, governmental entities, and business entities – in any combination.
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