Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Director General of Adec, at the Mubarak Bin Mohammad School
When Taleb Al Murri received his Braille Sense Plus 32 note taker last year, he was thrilled, thanks to the Abu Dhabi Education Council\'s (Adec) scheme to help mainstream school pupils with special needs.
This year the scheme has been widened to include more equipment and teaching software as well as training teachers to help pupils.
\"I was so happy when they gave it to me and taught me how to use it … since then, I\'ve taken it everywhere with me … it helps me connect with the world by allowing me to connect to computers so I can use the internet, send emails, read and write documents and even record discussions and reminders,\" Al Murri, a high school graduate, said.
He was among several special needs participants at an exhibition and training seminar organised by the Adec entitled: New Devices for Special Needs. The event was held at the Mubarak Bin Mohammad School in Abu Dhabi.
The pupils demonstrated some of the 689 new pieces of equipment and accompanying software that have been distributed to public schools in the emirate at the start of the 2011-12 academic year, such as electronic Braille writers, Boardmaker with Speaking Dynamically Pro for pupils with speech and language impairments.
A training session was also organised for 20 pupils and their teachers on how to use the FM Personal Systems, which allows those with hearing impairments to tune into their surroundings more easily.
Additionally, 17 autistic pupils were provided with laptops equipped with specialised software.
\"There are currently 5,869 pupils in public schools … each [pupil] is accompanied by specialised teachers who help create a successful learning and educational environment for [them],\" said Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Director General of Adec.
\"Integrating our special need students into Abu Dhabi schools is an essential component of Adec\'s 10-year strategic plan for developing the educational system in the emirate of Abu Dhabi … [in addition to the devices] a number of workshops will be organised to familiarise special education teachers, parents and pupils with the devices and teach them how to run audio, video devices and modern computers,\" Al Khaili added.