In cooperation with the Palestinian Union of Social Workers & Psychologist, the Faculty of Educational sciences at Al Quds Open University convened a forum on Wednesday 6/12/2017 on the occasion of International Day for Persons with Disabilities. The Forum was held under the auspices of Prof. Younis Amr, president of the university . The participants called for supporting higher education institutions and other relevant institutions that are working in defending the rights of persons with disabilities, to enable this group to obtain equal opportunities in the fields of education, employment and health.
In his welcoming speech, the Director of the University branch in Nablus, Prof. Yousef Thiab, mentioned that the university has placed social responsibility at the top of its priorities, and it is keen to highlight the status of people with disabilities, to come out with the best services that can be provided to them, to facilitate their daily life in general and the academic aspect in particular.
Prof. Awwad also added that the university branch in Nablus, which includes about 8000 students, is keen to provide all services that would serve people with disabilities. The University has a laboratory for the blind persons , which serves the community and students alike. The Branch is currently in the process of obtaining the necessary permits to establish a hearing and speech rehabilitation center to provide services to persons with hearing and speaking disabilities.
For his part, Dr. Iyad Othman, Head of the Union of Social Workers & Psychologist thanked the University represented by its president Prof. Younis Amr, for convening of this meeting , and said: "We invest this day to emphasize the importance of the role of persons with disabilities in Palestine, and to discuss with them and support them to get their rights and preserve their dignity.
Dr. Othman also congratulated Al Quds Open for opening the postgraduate program (Masters) in psychological counseling and education .
Dr. Majdi Zamel, Dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences at QOU, said that the idea of ??the educational forum, which will be held annually, came from the University's mission to spread knowledge and awareness of the issues and problems facing education and to employ the expertise of university specialists in a real context to enrich the Palestinian educational reality. He pointed out that the forum aims to create a state of continuous open dialogue between academics, teachers, educators and specialists to discuss vital and emerging issues in the field of education, and to identify the different trends in the educational issues, to come up with recommendations that can be applied and make the difference through them.
The assistant President for students’ affairs, Dean of Student Affairs, Prof. Mohamed Shaheen, presented a paper on the role of higher education institutions in improving opportunities for education for people with disabilities (Al-Quds Open University model), while Dr. iyad Othman presented a paper entitled: "Psychological and counselling rights of persons with disabilities and their families", while Dr. Tamer Suheil , the Assistant Vice-president of the University for Administrative Affairs presented a paper on "Abuse of Persons with Disabilities".
Dr. Mahmoud Obaid, The Head of Special Education Department presented a paper entitled “Qualifying the teacher to employ inclusive education in the classrooms in Palestinian schools", and Dr. Fakhri Dweikat concluded the session presenting his paper on "Digitizing Education and Employing Social Media in Education for Persons with Disabilities".