Projects for Special and Inclusive Education (SIE)

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    The Role of Centers in Enabling Schools with Inclusive Practices in Dubai: A Focus on the Collaboration and Communication System
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2013-04) El Lawand, Lubna A.
    Services in three main areas; education, health and employment, are to be provided to persons with special needs to protect their rights. Education is one of the rights given to learners with special needs however schools are not the only place to provide it. The law offers many options for providing education for learners with special needs for example article 9 stated the special centers’ role for people with special needs and articles 12,13,14 and 15 talk about the education of those learners. Stakeholders who have long awaited the 2006 law of children’s right for education have a main concern regarding the vagueness of the procedure for the implementation process. The issue of persons with special needs facing the bureaucracy of being included in mainstream schools will still be there until the procedures are clarified, stated, and implemented. Accordingly the following study will be focusing on the role of centers in supporting the implementation of the law; mainly the implementation of inclusion in schools. Since the process of collaboration, coordination, and communication between the centers and schools is unclear and the centers play an important part in supporting children with special needs, thus further investigation towards the established system and process is highly required. The purpose of the study is to find out what types of centers exist in UAE and what services do they provide for children with special needs and for schools with inclusive practices. What approach do centers in UAE follow as a base for their cooperation, coordination, and communication system, and how does the system work in the center itself and between the center and schools. The researcher interviewed three different directors of centers in Dubai and one shadow teacher assigned by a fourth center in Dubai. An analysis of data is done based on theories in the field and some recommendations are provided accordingly. A collaborative approach must be adopted for support services to work effectively to ensure a unified, balanced approach to the family and their child with special needs. Different terms are used to describe people working together such as multi-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary, and trans-disciplinary. The first two are not team focused to support the child and family as a whole across the curriculum unlike the latter which provides the structure to enhance collaborative working.
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    Effect of Cultural Perspectives on the process of an Inclusive Education in Primary Schools in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2013-04) Calderon, Andrea
    in the United Arab Emirates continues to be a key issue within the education system. Therefore, having concerns for the needs of special needs children requires responsibility and commitment amongst all members of the society. A society that relies on an education system to develop their maximum potential along with ensuring that special needs children have equal access to a quality inclusive education. The Ministry of Education (MOE) along with the Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA) developed the Federal Law No. 29 in 2006, which specified the Rights of Individual with Special Needs supporting both the national and international inclusion philosophy. A philosophy that seeks to provide an excellent environment that meets their educational, social and emotional needs in regular settings within their community. Previous research established five major themes to explain the process of inclusion in the UAE. The first relates to the existence of SEN students and the type of disability that they have. Second mentions the type of teachers and professionals within inclusive settings. Third states the provision of all additional aids and technological services. Fourth expresses the accommodations done to the school´s facilities to ensure the inclusion of the children. Finally, the fifth one expresses the existing professional development conferences that allow teachers to improve their practices. Leaders and policy makers consider inclusion as an adequate educational model due to the acceptance and supports that SEN students have from their peers and other people of their school community. Previous studies have shown that SEN students were being educated within public and private schools. It is believed that a complex group of people with cultural beliefs and professional experiences affects the perception of the school community of the children with special needs. Inclusion requires a restructuring of mainstream schools to make the necessary accommodations for every student regardless of their ability or disability. Therefore, the following discussion is focused to express the effect of cultural perspectives on the process of an inclusive education in primary schools in Dubai. It aims to explain the attitudes of administrators, teachers and parents through document analysis, questionnaires and interviews. Responses were received from twelve teachers and parents along with 6 administrators from two schools one that followed the IB curriculum and one that followed the UK curriculum. It also seeks to determine the challenges, changes and current practices of inclusion within a multicultural country.
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    An investigative study regarding the Assessment Procedures for students with special needs in private schools in Dubai
    (The British University in Dubai (BUiD), 2013-04) Sharma, Neha H.
    The United Arab Emirates is a relatively young country progressing towards the inclusion of students with special educational needs (SEN) in regular classrooms in the K-12 educational system. The UAE Vision 2021 ensures equal access for students with SEN to general education. The KHDA, a UAE government body responsible for private education sector, revised its guidelines for K-12 education advancing its support for inclusion of children with SEN. The provision of an early intervention can be improved with a comprehensive diagnosis of the children. This helps in the identification of each child’s needs, strengths and problem areas. Additionally, a vast repertoire of assessment processes are utilized in a variety of contexts including the identification procedure of the specific needs or disability, formative and summative tests, informal or standardized examinations in different grades in educational institutions. Appropriate accommodations and modifications form a significant component of these assessment procedures. The present study investigated the identification procedures of children with SEN and explored the assessment procedures including the accommodations or modifications used in private schools in Dubai. In addition, this project examined the obstacles faced by educators in practicing special assessment procedures, and made a few recommendations to enhance the support services available to children with SEN. The identification of SEN involves significant understanding of the need for diagnosis, validity of assessment practices, criteria on which the identifications are based, and professionals involved in the diagnosis. Student engagement in the academic context needs to be recorded and assessed for evidence of learning as well as enhancing further learning formatively. Assessment accommodations alter the way the student is instructed or tested, whereas modifications change the learning outcomes. The assessment procedures including the accommodations or modifications do not give any unfair advantage to these students but only safeguard the participation of children with SEN. An international concern about equal opportunities and the basic educational rights of children has promoted legislation regarding these issues by the national governments over the past two decades. The UAE federal law gained momentum from the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities. The UAE federal law no 29/2006 caters to the basic educational rights of all the children. These national laws constitute the legal background for provision of equal access to regular schools for children with disabilities.