Dr. Heidi Alaskary, Saudi speech-language pathologist

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Time: 07 October 2020  

Dr. Heidi Alaskary is the lead co-chair for the T20 Task Force 6 on economy, employment and education in the digital age.
She is US-educated and a trained speech-language pathologist based in Riyadh.
Alaskary is currently the CEO of the Special Olympics Saudi Arabia. Prior to this position she was acting deputy of planning and development at the General Sports Authority. As a director at the Human Resources Development Fund she used her experience to directly impact the lives of people with disabilities by working on legislation and programs that led to suitable and sustainable employment.
She has been director of research affairs at the King Salman Center for Disability Research (KSCDR), where she was an educator, researcher, and advocate for people with disabilities. The position gave her an opportunity to develop her leadership, administrative, and networking skills.
Before joining the center Alaskary was a speech-language pathologist with the Jeddah Institute for Speech and Hearing. She was a lecturer at King Saud University while working part time at the Disabled Children’s Association in Riyadh before becoming an assistant professor in speech-language pathology following the completion of her doctorate.
At KSCDR she was initially coordinator for the National Communication Disorders Program, then associate executive director for research and development before assuming the directorship. She maintains professional certifications and affiliations to support her participation in important projects that impact the lives of people with disabilities.
On Tuesday Alaskary spoke at a T20 Task Force 6 webinar about the economy, employment and education in the digital age.
“The beauty of the topics we’re talking about is that it is not something reserved for politicians, governments, or researchers,” she said. “Many of the topics you’re going to hear touch each and every one of us. Whether we’re children, people with disabilities, women, men, older, younger, or even parents learning to be teachers, trying to teach our children and keeping them safe.
“My call to action for everyone listening is that this isn’t just about policies, this is about the issues impacting you as an individual. What is your role in contributing to the voices that come together that help shape policy? Your voice matters, your thoughts matter. We look forward to hearing them.”

This article was first published in Arab News

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