Posted on November 05, 2019

Qatar Foundation for Social Work (QFSW) held a press conference on Monday to unveil the program for the inaugural Doha International Conference on Disability and Development (DICDD), which will take place on December 7-8, 2019, at the Qatar National Convention Centre.

The international conference is organized under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, founder of QFSW, to highlight and address the issues and challenges faced by persons with disabilities, which affect more than 1.5 billion people across the world. DICDD will review major global experiences that have helped in overcoming such obstacles and invest in the integration and intersection of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in order to adopt a global advocacy plan.

The conference will be co-organised by persons with disabilities, and will be the first international conference to address the sustainable development of society and human rights in relation to disability. DICDD will culminate with the announcement of the “Doha Declaration”, which will become a core reference point internationally for policy development and advancing human rights and sustainable social development in the context of disability for persons with disabilities.

Commenting on the importance and the role of the conference, Mrs. Amal Abdullatif Al-Mannai, Chief Executive officer of Qatar Foundation Social Work, said: “The inaugural Doha International Conference on Disability and Development is a vital initiative for achieving tangible and lasting changes to the lives of people with disabilities not only in Qatar and the Middle East, but across the world. The conference will attract wide international attention and will feature high-level representatives from the United Nations, international and regional organizations, as well as representatives of civil society, government and the private sector.

“The landmark outcome of DICDD will be a "Doha Declaration", which will form a core reference point internationally for policy development about human rights and sustainable development in the context of disability. “DICDD represents Qatar’s continuous efforts in supporting persons with disabilities by establishing specialized centers to meet their needs across the country. It also aligns with QNV2030, National Development Strategy, the National Autism Plan, and other disability-related efforts. “Sustainable international progress can only be achieved through the formulation of new standards to ensure that the international community can promote to the fullest extent one of the most critical policy opportunities of the 21st century. “We look forward to welcoming our distinguished speakers and participants to the QNCC next month.”

A series of workshops in the presence of international experts

In the lead-up to the conference, QFSW organized a series of workshops on strategies for data collection and analysis, disability policies, assistive technologies, the empowerment of women and girls with disabilities, and international cooperation on disability.

Side-line activities of the conference

An accompanying exhibition will be held on the sidelines of the conference to showcase local initiatives, projects, and assistive- technologies that are today strengthening the development of persons with disabilities. The expected local partners to this conference are: Qatar Airways, Mada Assistive Technology, Exxon Mobil, Al Shafallah Center, Al Noor Institute for the Blind, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the Cultural Village Foundation-Katara, Qatar Science and Technology Park, Qatar National Tourism Council, Ministry of Municipality and Environment.

Panel discussions

During the conference, panel discussions will explore the commitments that countries should adhere to, in order to mainstream the rights-based approach to disability, and to advance the rights, perspectives and well-being of persons with disabilities. The panel discussions will revolve around the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and how to maximize the benefits of them in various fields, such as education, recruitment, kids, health and entertainment.

Al Shafallah Center- 20 years since its establishment

DICDD will mark the 20th anniversary on the establishment of Al Shafallah Centre, which reflects Qatar’s continuous commitment to its pledges towards persons with disabilities. Al Shafallah Center was founded by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. The center is for people with disability to provide an example of educational and rehabilitative services to persons with mental disability and autism who are under 21 years old. The conference emphasizes the efforts done by the State of Qatar in paying attention to the rights of this group not only at the national level but also on a global scale.

Qatar's unceasing efforts and its progress in the disability field

The second national development strategy (2018-2022) is witnessing significant improvement in the integration of persons with disabilities compared to the first national development strategy (2011-2016). Qatar places great importance on the rights of disabled persons. A social rather than a medical model for disability is gradually evolving to meet the QNV 2030 aspirations for social justice and inclusion.

Registration is now open

Those interested in attending the Doha International Conference on Disability and Development will be able to register via the website: