Hukoomi Portal The First Information Portal for Persons with Disability in Qatar
Believing that persons with disabilities are an integral part of society and that their participation in development must be guaranteed, the State of Qatar ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2008. In article 9 – “Accessibility”, the convention confirms the right to access 1 – (b) information, communications and other services, including electronic services and emergency services.” In this context, Assistive Technology Center “Mada”, in cooperation and partnership with the official Qatar portal of e-government “Hukoomi” sought to support society, its members and institutions by empowering persons with disabilities, and various stakeholders through the establishment and launch of Hukoomi portal for persons with disabilities.
Hukoomi Portal for Persons with Disabilities is a comprehensive digital platform that links persons with disabilities, their families, care-providers and services. To ensure the effectiveness of the portal, Mada Center has collaborated with Hukoomi throughout the stages of preparation and followed carefully planned procedures from research and design to holding consultation sessions for focus groups composed of relevant individuals. The focus groups consisted of people with disabilities and their parents to find out their needs and address them in the portal. To ensure that the portal is suitable for persons with disabilities and to ensure that it follows digital accessibility standards, the portal was evaluated and tested by a group of people with different disabilities.
The portal was designed following a human rights-based approach which is a conceptual framework for the human development process that is based on international human rights standards and is practical in promoting and protecting human rights. According to the Ministry of Transport and Communications’ e-Accessibility policy, Hukoomi Portal aims to provide access to the information within the framework of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The collaboration between Mada and Hukoomi provided a successful single digital platform offering easy access to important information sources in various fields, such as appropriate education, how to apply for social security benefits, access health care, as well as providing information on the services, facilities and support facilities provided to PWDs in public and private sectors. To ensure that the portal is constantly updated, private and public institutions, service providers and entrepreneurs with disabilities have been provided with the opportunity to add their services by applying for adding a new service to the portal.