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QU to host first Arab Universal Design for Learning conference

QU to host first Arab
Universal Design for
Learning conference

Tribune News Network
Qatar University (QU) will host the first ‘Arab Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Conference: Scientific Perspectives for the future of Inclusive Education in Arab Countries’. The four-day conference will commence on November 14, 2021.
The conference will discuss the scientific foundations of neuroscience-based and brain-based learning, architectural accessibility, digital accessibility, assistive technology and practical applications of UDL that support inclusive education for all students, including students with disabilities.
Universities participating from Arab countries include: American University of Beirut; Saint Joseph University; University of Baghdad; Hashemite University; University of Tunis; University of Kuwait; Hebron University; Helwan University; Yarmouk University; Sultan Qaboos University; Kasdi Merbah University; University College of Applied Sciences; University of Manouba; University of Algiers; and Doha Institute for Graduate Studies.
The main objective of UDL is to remove the physical, digital and didactic barriers that hinder the learning process and to enable all students with different abilities to reach the stage of ‘Expert Learners’. The conference will be held virtually, giving those interested throughout the Arab world the opportunity to explore the latest educational practices and scientific applications of UDL.
The conference aims to shed light on Arab experiences and exchanging experiences between Arab universities in the field of integrating students with disabilities within the framework of the comprehensive design for learning; raising awareness of the principles of universal design for learning as a scientific framework aimed at improving education in the Arab world; raising awareness in the field of architectural accessibility, digital access and assistive technology; raising awareness in the field of brain-based learning; encouraging scientific research in the field of inclusive design for learning; and providing practical solutions to advance UDL programmes in the Arab world.
Khaled Mohamed, advisor to vice president for Academic Affairs Office at QU, said “Qatar University, in its support of students with disabilities, has adopted a comprehensive design framework for learning, which aims to transform the educational environment into a supportive environment for all students without discrimination, since 2014. Hence, Qatar University focused on implementing its various projects in digital accessibility, assistive technology, and spreading awareness about brain-based teaching methods.
“Universal design and universal design for learning have become a major part of international laws and regulations in most developed countries. The conference will constitute an opportunity for the convergence and integration of theses between scientific disciplines including educational sciences, psychological and disability studies, architecture, computer science, and neuroscience to establish smart physical, technological and educational environments in our Arab universities.”
He invited all workers in educational institutions, both public and private, to register for the conference and to benefit from the latest studies that will be presented in the field of contemporary education.
Wedad Rebeeh, director of Academic Advising Center at QU, stressed the importance of exchanging experiences between Arab universities in supporting the success of all students in higher education without discrimination.
She said the conference will constitute a scientific platform for educators and interested people from the Arab world to exchange experiences and discuss the latest studies in various fields that serve the student as the focus of the educational process.
The conference is open for: Administrative and educational leaders in public and higher education institutions; faculty members in universities; teachers in general and in special education; researchers and those interested in the conference topic; postgraduate students; and assistive technology and digital access institutions.