Students with Disabilities Care Office
This office focuses its efforts mainly on the right to education, particularly higher education for people with disabilities (PWDs), since providing them with education will pave the road for a great change in their lives.
The People with Disability Care Office was established to make the lives of students with disability more active and integrated with the society of the University.
- Providing academic and non-academic facilities to integrate this category into the university environment
- Creating accessible lab environments for visually impaired students
- Offering extra lessons to finish study plans on time in coordination with faculty deans and heads of departments
- Providing scribes, amanuensis or note-takers to take notes in lectures and dictate answers in exams
- Offering assistive devices for students with hearing, voice, speech, or language disorders
- Facilitating physical accessibility to classrooms, library, clinics, stadiums, auditoriums and cultural halls
- Facilitating access to information through offering free internet access and using automated email
- Raising awareness of employees dealing with this category through producing leaflets and holding individual and group meetings
- Providing personal information to the social counselor and the Care Office about SWDs' family and health conditions
- Providing SWDs free or cheap accommodations
- Offering designated parking spaces for SWDs
- Issuing instructional manuals about the registration process in Braille
An-Najah University opened its doors for people with disabilities and offered them full support to continue their higher education as follows:
- The University facilities the admission of SWDs in its academic programs, offering them the opportunity to benefit from its loans, scholarships and financial facilities
- As part of its inclusive approach, the University encourages the hiring qualified staff from people with disabilities
- The University provides counseling services through departments that include psychosocial specialists (of both genders), including those who work closely with people with disabilities
- The University is inclusive of this category in social, artistic, cultural and sports, through engaging them in cultural exchange programs, musical bands, theater performances and sport activities
- The University established a computer lab for visually impaired people serving 12 students from both genders, of different disciplines. The lab provides curriculum courses in Braille books. It also conducted several trainings for visually impaired persons for non-students from the community without any charges
- The University Opened the Prosthetics Clinic, that offers free services to students and locals from the community
- The University provided integrated services through its Community Service Unit, which provides a set of programs such as home support for disabled elderly and counseling programs for families of people with disabilities
- The University provides housing accommodations for SWDs, works with learning disabilities, and holds workshops with the Ministry of Higher Education on dealing with people with disabilities, as well as directs volunteers to work with this category and offer them the needed support through counseling in movement education and printing curriculum materials in Braille
- The Old Campus was rehabilitated to accommodate the needs of SWDs, where corridors, stairs, and bathrooms now fit SWDs; while, the infrastructure of the New Campus and Hisham Hijjawi College of Technology has been completely prepared to fit any type of disability
- The University gives preferential treatment to SWDs with regards to loans and grants
- The University offers free accommodation for a number of visually impaired students and facilitates their mobility between campuses
- This category is offered full support by the University President and vice presidents
- The University has research cooperation agreements with a number of European universities about SWDs
- The University has partnership with a large number of local community institutions, and the Palestinian General Union of People with Disability (GUPWD)
The Office offers the following services for students with disabilities:
- Helping PWDs with course registration procedures
- Providing human guides for students with visual impairments
- Offering blind students Braille Books
- Facilitating PWDs personal mobility
- Integrating PWDs into the university environment
- Offering training programs for teachers and students about sign language, guiding and Braille Transcribing System
- Offering special library services for students with visual and hearing impairment
- Facilitating SWDs accessibility to basic services such as basic health and student consulting services
- Hiring Braille proofing and production specialists
- Attracting sponsors to offer funded scholarships and loans to SWDs
- Offering SWDs psychological and social support
In Palestine, the number of people with disabilities is continuously increasing due to the following reasons:
- The direct and indirect injuries caused by the Israeli occupation which has resulted in many Palestinians being disabled.
- The absence of proper medical care.
- The absence of parental awareness and the lack of early detection procedures.
- The majority of people who are planning for marriage do not carry out premarital examinations.
- The increase in endogamy within the Palestinian society.
- Traffic accidents and work injuries.
- Other reasons.
There are more than 150,000 documented cases of people with disabilities in Palestine, and there are large numbers of mental disabilities still undocumented.
This Office focuses its efforts mainly on the right to education, particularly higher education, for this group of people since providing them with education will pave the road for a great change in their lives.