Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination teams up with Microsoft to accelerate remote and assistive learning

Teachers are using Microsoft innovative technology to communicate with students and engage them into various activities including, assistive reading and writing, as well as equip them with interpersonal and self-reliance skills

30 April 2020; Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination (ZHO), today, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft to enhance its remote learning initiative. The MoU signed between HE. Abdullah Al Humaidan, General Secretary at ZHO and Sayed Hashish, General Manager, Microsoft UAE, is a joint effort to ensure continuity in education, skills development and social empowerment of people with disabilities.

“ZHO’s efforts have always revolved around providing the best quality of services for people of determination​ and drive a positive change in society.” Said Al Humaidan. “Our aspirations are to empower them across all aspects of their lives – Education, cultural and social, to build their capabilities so they can lead better lives – by adapting to ‘distant education’ to complete the curriculums electronically. The country has kept health and safety as the top priority in their efforts to fight the current conditions without any hindrance to sharing of knowledge and education. Technology plays a profound role in this journey of migrating to remote learning and ZHO has been at the forefront to conduct educational, therapeutic and instructional led classes with social skills across Abu Dhabi. Praising the partnership, HE Al Humaidan added, “Microsoft’s innovations combined with its accessibility and assistive learning tools are a clear demonstration of the company’s commitment to inclusiveness and equality.”

ZHO has adopted Microsoft Teams as its unified communications platform for teachers to communicate with students and engage them into various activities including performing practical exercises, assistive reading and writing, as well as equip them with interpersonal and self-reliance skills. Microsoft and ZHO will also work together to provide better accessibility tools and features to educators and gauge institution readiness for distant teaching. Microsoft will also conduct a series of e-workshops for ZHO teachers to better implement the process and empower students with technology solutions and ensure best practices.

At Microsoft, we believe inclusion drives innovation and diverse backgrounds can enable the positive change we need in the world.” said Hashish. “The Zayed Higher Organization for people with determination has put technology at the heart of its efforts to pursue aspirations for community and social development – and Microsoft is proud to support them. We have an opportunity to empower a massive shift in creating more inclusive classrooms and workplaces to impact education and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Accessible technologies, enabled by AI will help people with disabilities unlock their full potential at school, work, and home.”

Microsoft Teams acts as a virtual classroom that helps better communication between teachers and students via video and audio options, enabling them to collaborate with each other smoothly. It works as a digital hub that brings conversations, meetings, study materials and applications all together in one place. Teams also includes accessibility features such as keyboard shortcuts, screen reader support and live captions for students to meet, chat and collaborate inclusively. It provides all the adequate resources required for people with disabilities and continue their learning journey.

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