Posted on December 26, 2018

Qatar University’s (QU) Foundation Program Department of English (FPDE) at the Deanship of General Studies in collaboration with the Inclusion and Special Needs Support Center (ISNSC) hosted an appreciation event to honor students and faculty. The event aimed to promote inclusion and encourages students with special needs and disabilities to feel more welcome as productive members of the Foundation Program (FP) family.

During the event, students who participated in the Special Needs Helper Training Workshops were awarded certificates of attendance and special needs student helpers who facilitated training workshops as peer trainers were awarded certificates of recognition. Student Support Committee in Foundation Program introduced the peer training initiative with the aim of promoting general student involvement by honing their leadership skills and promoting communities of learning that help all students achieve their full academic potential. During the event, selected students, teachers and administrators shared their thoughts, reflections and words of encouragement.

Dr. Hazem Al Awah, Director of the Founding Program, said, “FP management office in collaboration with ISNSC team are investing educational resources and exerting efforts to provide services that facilitate academic success for students with special needs and disabilities.” FP, he added, “is playing a significant role in supporting students achieving success and enrolling in their desired majors and colleges.” Ms. Hayat El Samad, Assistant Director for Student Affairs, in the FP, explains the aim of the event saying, “In an effort to continuously create a positive university experience for all students, the goal of this event is to facilitate the integration of students with special needs in the university community and to increase the communication opportunities among all students in the university.”

Head of FPDE’s, Mohammed Manasreh, talked about the responsibility of the administration and said, “It is the ongoing mandate of our department to provide every support possible to facilitate the academic and personal growth and success of all FP students including students with special needs and disabilities. We hold our students to the highest standards and expectations and do our best to make them feel that they are valuable members of the university community. This event is only a small token of our appreciation for the collaborative efforts of everyone involved in promoting total inclusion and equity in the distributions of learning opportunities for progressive development of our students.”

Dr. Enita Barrett, English Lecturer at the FPDE, and a member of FP Student Support Committee, said, “We continue to raise awareness of the growing numbers of special needs students in our programs and build communities that are sensitized to these needs. We are proud of the systems we have put in place to ensure that the center’s accommodations are provided and necessary support made available. This event is to show appreciation for all those who have made extraordinary contributions to ensure the wellbeing of our students.”

Dr. Khalid Khader Consultant for ISNSC said, “The vision of the center focuses on two methods of transformation projects to make the inclusion of students with special needs a reality. The first targets the quality of services provided to students with special needs, the second targets the systemic change in educational policies, community outreach and physical and digital accessibility. Our vital objective is to widen access to learning and create an inclusive learning environment for all students including students with special needs (visible, invisible or undiagnosed disability). We are working with our partners to incorporate the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) into QU’s education systems where every student can learn and succeed. This event celebrates the continuous cooperation between the center and the FP as one of our major partners and one of our most successful collaboration stories in supporting and including our students with special needs.”