Educational experience for special needs kids highlighted at world meet

DUBAI - Dr Eman Gaad, a senior lecturer at the British University in Dubai (BUiD) and a visiting fellow of the University of Birmingham, recently took her experience and research on educating children with exceptional needs beyond the borders of the UAE to the US.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Fri 13 Aug 2004, 12:02 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:13 PM

Dr Gaad attended the Fourth International Conference on Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations, held at the University of California, Los Angeles, last month. She presented the results of a qualitative research that focused on the recent development in the UAE of including children with special needs in regular classrooms.

The research investigated the current services available to students with special needs, how services are applied to include special needs students in regular classrooms, and the effect of the inclusion experience on both special needs and regular children.

The key objective of the research was to develop a comprehensive plan that helps key decision makers (Ministry of Education and Youth, Ministry of Work and Social Affairs, Private Sector and Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector) improve the current school system to meet the educational needs of primary school students with mild to moderate exceptional learning needs.

Dr Gaad's participation on behalf of BUiD is the first ever by an academic staff from BUiD at such a prestigious, international conference. The Conference brought together scholarly, government and practice-based participants on diversity and community along with the world's leading thinkers, teachers, researchers and practitioners in the field.

"It was a source of pride to represent BUiD at such an outstanding, global event," said Dr Gaad. "We successfully highlighted UAE's recent, but unique, experience in dealing with educational issues for children with special learning needs. The conference was an important venue for BUiD to make known the efforts taken by UAE educational system to provide this category of children with the latest internationally recognised standards of education applied for children with special needs. Expertise and views exchanged during the conference were extremely useful to us and showed us that we are on the right track in this particular area."

Dr. Gaad, who just joined BUiD's Institute of Education, brings a wealth of teaching experience with a focus on special education. Most recently she was on the faculty of the UAE University, Department of Special Education where she taught a range of subjects including assessment of special needs, behaviour modification, rehabilitation in special education and educating students with exception learning needs.

Prior to her tenure at the UAE University, Dr. Gaad was a member of the academic staff at East Anglia University in England. She has done extensive research in the areas of educating children with special needs.

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