GAATES Honored with UN Habitat–Dubai International Award

Jan 26, 2009

Global NGO Honored with UN Habitat–Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment

The publication International Best Practices in Universal Design: A Global Review has been named as one of the world’s 100 "Best Practices" for 2008 by United Nations – Habitat - Dubai International Award for Best Practices. 

The Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), a Canadian based NGO, is extremely pleased and excited to announce that this illustrious publication that has been distributed to over 5000 people worldwide. It provides comparative data on accessibility codes and standards from around the world and is available in English, French, Arabic, Spanish, Serbian and the alternate DAISY format.

GAATES is the leading international organization dedicated to promoting accessibility of the built and virtual environments.

The publication has been used by international donor organizations such as the World Bank to ensure that the built environment is accessible and usable by everyone, including people with disabilities.

“In selecting GAATES as a recipient of one of the 100 Best Practices in the urban environment, the Dubai Award recognizes the important significance of Universal Design and Accessibility in the lives of people with disabilities worldwide” states Betty Dion, President of GAATES. 

The International Best Practices in Universal Design: A Global Review document was funded by a consortium of Canadian and International organizations, led in Canada by the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

The purpose of the Dubai Award is to recognize and enhance awareness of outstanding and sustainable achievements in improving the living environment.  The Dubai Award was established under the directives of late Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, during the United Nations International Conference that convened in Dubai in November 1995.

The criteria for best practices are selected by an independent International Jury that consists of Experts and Specialists who considered the positive impact in improving the living environment of people, including: social inclusion, sustainability and continuity in effecting changes in legislation, social policies, leadership and community empowerment, gender equality, innovation and transferability.

For more information on the award, visit and

For further information on the GAATES submission for the award, see


Betty Dion, President, GAATES

Phone: 613 725 0566