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Abu Dhabi Education Council’s (ADEC’s) Special Needs Technical Committee visited the United Kingdom, to learn more about latest special needs equipment and integration programs.

The visit came in response to an invitation received from the Al Shomoukh Trading for Technical & Medical Supplies Co. (ASTEMED), in collaboration with the leading British assistive technology manufacturer (Humanware), with the aim to be introduced to the latest student assistive technology devices, such as BrailleNote Touch and I-LOVIEW 7 HD, and to learn about the best integration programs in schools.

The delegation included Ms. Hana Ali Al-Hamdani, Head of the Special Needs Technical Committee alongside with members of the Committee; Bare’a Sulaiman, Ayman Basiouni, and Ashraf Ramdhan. The visit focused on two axes; learning about the latest assistive technology for supporting students with disabilities, and the best strategies applied for integrating students with special needs into regular schools.

The Head of the Special Needs Technical Committee explained that the visit comes in line with strategies set by the Committee to support students with disabilities and facilitate integrating them into public schools in an appropriate way that meets the student’s individual and unique learning needs. “ADEC is keen to provide the best tools and technologies that contribute in improving the quality of services delivered to students with special needs, while constantly providing them with the necessary support services.” Ms. Al Hamadani added.

The ADEC delegation visited (Humanware); the manufacturer of special equipment for students with visual impairment, where they were trained by technical specialists on operating several devices that will support a students learning. Special Education teachers will be trained on the new technology upon delivery to students, which will include devices such as: Prodigi Connect 12 electronic magnifier, Prodigi Desktop electronic magnifier 20 in, explore 7 Handheld Electronic Magnifier, Victor Reader Stratus12 M Daisy MP3 player, and i-loview 7 Full HD – High Definition Video Magnifier.

The members of the ADEC Committee also visited Priestley Smith Specialist School; one of the best schools that support disabled full integration, providing a stimulating and highly differentiated learning programs for students between the ages of 2 and 19 years. The school follows the UK mainstream curriculum, personalized to meet each child’s visual and learning needs, ensuring that all students receive proper perceptual development and independent living skills using different assistive tools and devices.

The school that was inspected by Ofsted in January 2015 and judged to be outstanding in all categories, provides students with access to different specialist equipment that they need, in classrooms equipped to suite students with significant visual impairment as well as other additional or associated needs. However, the school does not handle children with multiple severe disabilities.

“The visit, a first of its kind, achieved the desired goals identifying different strategies of integrating special needs students, method of intervention, and best assistive technology,” the Technical Committee Head concluded.

– ADEC Media