Persons with Disabilities’ education has witnessed rapid growth in recent years, and it has received the attention of both Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education as efforts have been exerted in caring for students with disabilities at different levels of study. The Tertiary Education is peculiar in the sense that it complements the general education and that makes creating conducive learning environment for the students with disabilities an imperative requirement. This accords with Oman’s Vision 2040 which clearly states “to enhance the principle of just and equitable access to social care to all the members of the Omani society so that they enjoy social welfare. It also strives to enable the Omani society to interact with other societies, through enabling its families, supporting women, the youth, children, the elderly, and people with special needs. Furthermore, it aims to empower civil society organizations, which requires developing social care and protection, encouraging self-dependency, supporting balanced local development, and bridging the income differences among the various society segments”.
In this regard, the Centre strives to understand all the challenges encountered by the persons with disabilities while on campus in order to provide them with the proper services and support they need. The services and support provided by the Centre include machines and equipment that facilitate learning, and after-admission preparatory training which includes exposure to campus life and briefing on programs offered suitable with their disabilities conditions as well as integrating them in the Campus community.
The Unit aspires to achieve regional excellence in providing services for students with disabilities; overcoming challenges and obstacles in response to their individual needs and providing support and educational consultancy.
Students with Disabilities Support Services Unit at Dhofar University strives to provide outstanding and comprehensive support services to all persons with disabilities in a way that helps them to adapt to their various environments, and empower them in the Omani society for positive changes in their life and their societies.
- To provide comprehensive support services to persons with disabilities suitable to their educational needs.
- To supply all suitable physical facilities to the persons with disabilities on campus which ensure easy and comfortable electronic and spatial cognitive access.
- Develop the skills of persons with disabilities aligned with their potentials and disabilities.
- To provide standard and clear criteria-based social, psychological and learning support services for persons with disabilities.
- To support persons with disabilities through establishing smart partnership with public sector and private sector.
- To support research and studies that focus on the needs and challenges encountered by persons with disabilities and the ways for empowering them and developing their abilities.
- To integrate the persons with disabilities into the students’ community and activities.
- Design and develop programs and projects about persons with disabilities.
- To empower persons with disabilities in the Omani society.
- To provide support services that enable persons with disabilities adapt and integrate with Campus life.
- To supervise students’ clubs related to persons with disabilities.
- Facilitate course registration and selection of specialization programs for persons with disabilities.
- To offer career guidance for persons with disabilities.
- Train individuals working in jobs related to persons with disabilities according to nature of their jobs, skills and job market needs.
- Organize training programs for both DU Faculty Members and Administrative Staff on methods of dealing with persons with disabilities.
- Organizing training sessions to improve the administrative and professional capacities of workers in different fields related to persons with disabilities in the local community.
- Prepare various methods and measures pertaining to persons with disabilities.
- Conduct research and field surveys in various aspects related to persons with disabilities.
- Establish partnership with leading universities experienced in dealing with persons with disabilities.
- Organize discussion forums and conferences on persons with disabilities.
- Provide consultancy in various fields including for different organizations in the society that concern with persons with disabilities.
- Create data base about persons with disabilities.
- Students with visual disability.
- Students with hearing disability.
- Students with physical disability.
Academic Support Team
|Sr.No||Committee Member||College/Program||Phone Ext.|
|1||Dr. Khalid Almashikhi (Head)||CAASfirstname.lastname@example.org||7200|
|2||Dr. Reem Abuiyada||CAASemail@example.com||7253|
|3||Dr. Kamaal Allil||CCBAfirstname.lastname@example.org||7435|
|4||Dr. Khaled Abu Taha||CLemail@example.com||7184|
|5||Dr. Hesham Tuwair||CEfirstname.lastname@example.org||7340|
|6||Mr. Ahmad Al Ani||FPemail@example.com||7512|
Students with Disabilities Support Services Unit (SWDU) provides the necessary academic and non-academic services to students with disabilities on campus for their holistic growth and development.
The services provided include:
1- Built-in Accessibility Computer Systems for Visually Impaired Students:
SWDU, in collaboration with the Computing and Networking Center(CNC), has acquired a licensed version of Windows 365, which has built-in disability’s- friendly accessibility features such as: screen magnifier, contrast ratios, and full feature screen reader.
SWDU also has an exclusive computer lab for students with disabilities, which is equipped with NVDA (Non-visual Desktop Access) screen reader. SWDU plans to acquire licensed software Super-Nova for enhanced screen reading, which also Supports a wide range of braille displays.
In addition, DU’s website has all accessibility features including text-reader to enable students with disabilities to have easy access to the available information.
2- Sign Language Interpreters and Note-takers
Provision of a sign language interpreter or note-taker is an essential support service for most of the students with hearing disability, so that their potential can be fully realised. A student who has a hearing impairment is likely to have difficulty in listening and taking notes at the same time. However, with the provision of interpreter or note-taker, the problem is eliminated to a large extent. It provides freedom to the student to follow the lesson and also receive visual cues from the teacher.
At DU, SWDU provides need-based services of sign interpreters and note takers to accommodate students with hearing impairment. There is a team of trained and dedicated volunteers who are available for this purpose. These volunteers work under the guidance of a team of experts available at SWDU.
3- Academic Advising
Academic advising is an integral part of the academic duties of the faculty member at DU. Each student at DU has an assigned “Academic Advisor”. However, in case of students with disabilities, academic advising is perceived more as a social responsibility rather than a mere academic duty.
SWDU works closely with the designated Academic Advisors of students with disabilities. These students receive one-to-one personalized academic advising during registration, course of study, and exams period. All of the academic advising and support services are facilitated by the “Academic Support Team” , which includes a faculty member from each college.
4- Peer Tutoring
In coordination with “Learning Support Center” (LSC) (Click Here), SWDU provides peer tutoring facility to students with disabilities. Peer tutors deliver the requested coaching on one-to-one sessions at a convenient time slot for students with disabilities.
SWDU, through its teams of peer tutors and volunteers provides assistance to students with disabilities in note-taking and writing exams. SWDU ensures that the scribes are neutral assistance providers with no conflict of interest to maintain academic integrity.
6- Facilities and Equipment
SWDU has a fully equipped and self-sufficient students with disabilities lab that caters to the academic needs of students with disabilities, and their supporting teams. The lab is equipped with the necessary technologies and equipment.
7- Extra-curricular Activities
Students with disabilities are actively involved in organizing and conducting extra-curricular activities through our own “Nabdh-Albasira” student club and also in coordination with similar organizations in the local community.
Click on the following link to download Students with Disabilities Support Services Unit Map.