8 December 2021
MCIT Partakes in ‘Differently Abled’ Ceremony

Within the framework of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) had a pavilion in the exhibition held on the sidelines of “Differently Abled” ceremony.
President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi visited the pavilion; he listened to a presentation on the National Network for PWD Services and to some beneficiaries of the Network platform, which connects PwDs seeking jobs to business owners, institutions and organizations that provide PwDs rehabilitation and training services, helping them find decent job opportunities.
The official launch of the Network is expected to take place this month. MCIT and the Ministry of Social Solidarity have joined forces to put the Network into effect and maintain its sustainability.
MCIT participation in the exhibition reflects the great priority it attaches to the PwDs file as part of its strategy to employ information technology to bring about digital transformation and build an inclusive society. Moreover, MCIT is keen to foster PwDs through developing Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled applications to allow video communication and use sign language to facilitate PwDs day-to-day activities.
Furthermore, the National Academy of Information Technology for Persons with Disabilities (NAID) participated in the exhibition; it sponsored the National Relay Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the first-of-its-kind in the Middle East and Africa.
The Center enables people with hearing and speech impairments to communicate by phone with emergency services through Wasel mobile application, which connects them to emergency services (police, ambulance, fire department and electricity emergency) using the sign language through highly qualified and trained interpreters. In addition, Wasel app allows AI-enabled detection of COVID-19 symptoms using a chatbot in sign language in Arabic.
It is worth noting that MCIT is working on expanding the services of the National Relay Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. In addition, the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has made the application’s connection to the Internet free of charge.
Two promising startups specializing in developing assistive technologies participated in the pavilion, as part of NAID business accelerator program, which is carried out in cooperation with Ain Shams University’s Innovation Hub (iHub). One of the startups was PraxiLabs Arabia, a company specializing in making virtual science labs accessible. The company has recently launched an initiative titled “People of Determination, Future Scientists,” with the aim to facilitate PwDs access to education. PraxiLabs Arabia also won first place in Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) competition, among 12,000 companies.
The other startup was Prolimb. It presented the efforts made to develop a multi-grip bionic arm capitalizing on AI and digital manufacturing to achieve maximum empowerment for people with upper limb loss. The President listened to the company's presentation and praised its efforts.
NAID was keen to participate in the exhibition to promote MCIT efforts in harnessing ICTs to render different services, facilitate PwDs access to them, and support innovation and development in the field of assistive technologies to achieve effective integration and empowerment.
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