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Update from Kuwait

4th of April 2018
 Greetings all from Kuwait!
Web Key IT recently announced the opening of our office in the Panasonic Tower in Kuwait City. This has been the culmination of quite a number of months of planning and we have come into Kuwait at the invitation of our local representatives in Kuwait, Green Technology. The process to actually get to this point has been interesting and challenging, with lots of background and legal implications.  It is a big step for a relatively small consultancy to decide to open a branch office, let alone in a country with which we are completely unfamiliar.  However, having worked over the past five years with Muhammad Saleem who has been studying at Edith Cowan University and completed his Masters’ Thesis on the accessibility of e-government in the Middle East, we were encouraged that this is the right time both for Web Key IT and also for Kuwait.

We are so grateful for the support and encouragement from Muhammad and the staff at Green Technology. Additionally, I would like to personally thank the staff at the Perth Office of the Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Austrade both in Perth and also in Kuwait for their kind assistance and encouragement.  They have worked along with us as we jumped over the many legal hurdles and helped us through cultural adjustments that such a venture has necessitated.  A particular word of thanks to Darren Levy, Manager of the International Trade and Investment Centre at Austrade Perth and Ryan Martin, Manager of Workplace Consulting at CCI, without you two, this never would have happened.  Last but not least, a huge thank you to Peter Seeney from the Small Business Development Corporation for his continued support and advice. Peter encouraged me to explore the opportunity and put me in touch with Austrade and CCI. A huge thank you also to the staff of Web Key IT who have continually embraced the ever-growing vision of Web Key IT to make change wherever we can, always striving to improve the lives of people with disabilities.
As many of you know, I am currently working in Kuwait for the period April to June.  The Government of Kuwait is presently working on an ambitious project titled “Towards Kuwait 2035 Vision Towards Persons with Disabilities Project”.  I am working in support of this project as a consultant, assisting the Government of Kuwait in the development of web accessibility guidelines and strategy here in Kuwait.  This project is being managed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and its aim is to support the Public Authority of the Disabled Affairs (PADA) in establishing benchmark standards and procedures. One of PADA’s required outputs for the “Towards Kuwait 2035 Vision” is to increase its “technical expertise and organizational capacities for implementation of Universal Design and countrywide use of technology enablers”.  My particular assignment is to work in conjunction with the UNDP and PADA to produce the Kuwait Digital Accessibility Standard which PADA will use to lead the way in Kuwait, understanding and embracing digital accessibility.  The ‘Standard’ will be applicable for all of Kuwait, and we will work with PADA to develop a transition strategy to provide training and resources to get them started on this exciting journey.
Lastly, we are very excited to announce that our local representatives, Green Technology have been granted the management of the W3C Office for the whole Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.  Muhammad Saleem is the new Representative for the GCC Office of W3C and we congratulate him as he works to promote the work of W3C within the GCC region.

The W3C GCC Office and Web Key IT are both located in the Green Technology office suite in the Panasonic Tower.  Together, we are ready to provide an unparalleled level of support for organisations through the GCC region as they look to embrace not just digital accessibility but all of the standards that W3C supports including payments, security, publishing and others. Web Key IT has been a W3C member for a number of years now, and are also a Business Agent for W3C within Australia.  We, along with Green Technology appreciate the support and encouragement of W3C and look forward to bringing the services and support of W3C to the GCC Region.
Dr Vivienne Conway
Director, Web Key IT Pty Ltd

photograph of panasonic tower in kuwaitbanner in kuwait office with W3C and Web Key IT logos
As you know, we usually only send out e-newsletters monthly, but thought this might be a nice change to update you on what's happening in our Kuwait office! We will still be issuing our monthly e-newsletter in two weeks- so stay tuned for that!
Social Networks
If you haven't already, take a look at our Facebook page for daily updates and some excellent accessibility articles and resources, there really is a lot on there. We also have a Twitter feed, as well as LinkedIn. All these links are below for future reference, so have a click around, and share this with your friends.

Please do remember to take a moment to look at our website and as always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts, comments and any feedback you may have!
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