UOD Hosts Open Session on Accessibility for people with Special Needs in Higher Education
June 12, 2024, 11:46 a.m.

The University of Duhok (UOD) took a significant step towards fostering inclusivity in higher education with an open session dedicated to enhancing accessibility for individuals with special needs by potential to establish accessibility center at the UOD. Held on June 10, 2024, at the UOD’s Convention Center, the session convened key stakeholders including representatives from the Amideast Organization, the Vice President for Students Affairs, Dr. Nabaz Ibrahim, The Dean of the College of Basic Education, Dr. Ramadhan Abid, distinguished guests, and Department of Special Education members.

Dr. Dawood Sulaiman Atrushi, President of UOD, extended a warm welcome to the attendees and reaffirmed the university's commitment to supporting individuals with special needs. Dr. Sabah Wais and Dr. Dlovan Berwari, esteemed guests from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), expressed their endorsement of this humanitarian initiative and pledged support for collaboration between UOD and Duhok Polytechnic University (DPU) in advancing accessibility projects.

The session featured insightful presentations by Mrs. Quincy Dermody and Mrs. Dina Mohsen, representatives of the Amideast Organization, who shared their experiences with the Inclusion Learning Project in Egypt. Emphasizing the social model of disability, they highlighted the importance of enabling full participation and equal opportunities for individuals with special needs within society. Moreover, they noted the establishment of accessibility centers in Egyptian universities, underscoring the growing momentum towards inclusive higher education.

An overview of the Department of Special Needs at UOD's College of Basic Education was presented, detailing its collaboration with the German University of Carl Von Osietzky, Oldenburg, aimed at preparing educators equipped to support individuals with special needs. The success of this initiative was evidenced by the graduation of 782 students since its inception in 2014.

Throughout the session, the voices of three UOD students with learning difficulties or special needs were heard, sharing their positive experiences and emphasizing the supportive environment provided by university staff and faculty. Their testimonies underscored the resilience and potential of individuals with disabilities in pursuing academic excellence.

The session served as a platform for collecting valuable insights into the current status of individuals with disabilities within UOD, DPU, and the broader higher education system. With a shared commitment to inclusivity, all participants pledged to take necessary actions to further advance accessibility initiatives, ensuring equal opportunities for all members of the academic community.

In conclusion, the open session underscored UOD's dedication to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment, where individuals with special needs can thrive and contribute meaningfully to the academic community.

for full quality photos, click on the link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1xs_V4saSJQGjUajd1ldmyl-WFiTwx-l6

UOD Media, June 11, 2024

Fatima Mahmood

Photo Credits: Mohammed Abdulkareem