Special Education

Student helping studentsThe government of the UAE recognizes the need to support students with special needs. In November 2006, the UAE signed the optional Protocol to the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Federal Law 29/2006 guarantees rights for people with special needs.  Vocational and rehabilitation centers have been developed throughout the country. In addition, efforts are made to include special needs students in mainstream educational settings. The UAE also participates in the Special Olympics.

The UAE Federal Government passed the UAE Disability Act to protect the rights of people with disabilities and special needs. This law requires that UAE nationals with special needs have the same rights to work and occupy public positions, have special facilities at airport and hotels, have access to public vehicles and parking, have equitable access and facilities into all new property development projects, etc.

In the education side, the UAE Disability Act requires:

  • Public and private schools must provide equal access to all children.
  • No school in the UAE can refuse the admission of a child with special needs (SN).
  • Teachers and therapists working with SN students must have a university degree recognized by the Ministry of Education (MOE), and a teaching permit issued by MOE. 
  • Schools must not hold back or fail students with special needs.
  • Schools must receive the approval of the MOE to charge extra fees to parents for any special education services after.
  • The Ministry of Education (MOE) strategy is to adapt public schools to facilitate special needs education. The MOE has already converted 10 schools, and plans to improve more than 100 schools by 2013.
  • MOE requires that all instruments, machines and equipment expenses needed by its sponsored-students with special needs pertaining to their educational shall be borne by the Ministry according to their health status as per certified original documents from the health authorities and authenticated by the Cultural Counselor in Washington, DC.

Today, there are many schools proving education for students with special needs. They are non-governmental and at the same time there are special needs schools for the local population receiving government assistance. 

K-12 EducationHigher EducationTechnical Education