Under the patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Princess Haya Award for Special Education (PHASE) hosted (on the 22 of April) a symposium under the slogan “Breaking Boundaries, Creating Excellence” to highlight the latest research and practices in the field of special education.
Dr.Muna Al Saffar Coordinator General of Princess Haya Award has mentioned in the opening speech: “One of the most important elements in the special needs sector is its people. Our ultimate goal is to empower individuals and their families, helping individuals with special needs to reach their full potential, encourage better access to services, in addition to keeping better opportunities to develop the educators and working professionals to be more confident in supporting their needs.
In this symposium 3 international and local experts spoke about different topics , Lindy Crawford Ph.D., is an associate professor of Special Education, she is also is the Director of the Alice Neeley Special Education Research and Service Institute (ANSERS Institute) at TCU she presented about assessment for students with disabilities in the United States. including the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS).she also spoke about the relationship between use of help features, or electronic support tools, that are embedded in computer-based instructional programs, and the math performance of students who use and do not use these tools.
Alexandra Dunn is a Speech-Language Pathologist at the Upper Canada District School Board and president of Inclusionary, Alex Dunn has presented a Workshop Titled: Is Your Child Integrated But Not Fully Included?
She mentioned that Inclusion is not a place, but what we do. In our quest to achieve inclusive classroom communities, students are often “integrated” with their peers, “breathing the same air” but not achieving meaningful educational and social participation. She discussed also the creation of Universal Design for learning toolkits filled with traditional teaching tools of as well as manipulatives (Lego, Wikki Stix) and technological (iPads, SMART Boards, Assistive Technology) supports
Dr. Layla Asamarai, Clinical Psychologist at Dubai Community Health Center, spoke about The Special Needs of Special Families.
Psychological impact and the social dynamics when a family is identified having a child with special needs. In addition, recognizing some of the local resources that may help the families.
The opening ceremony of the symposium was attended by senior government officials, heads of departments, public and private sector representatives and other dignitaries.
Dr. Al Saffar, Coordinator General, declared: “There is around 400 participants and 3 renowned speakers from different disciplines who shared their experiences and discussed the latest developments on the field of special education”