ABU DHABI // This autumn, six deaf students from the UAE will travel to America to continue their studies at the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, Connecticut, through a scholarship from the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec). All six boys studied at the Abu Dhabi Centre for Special Needs. The centre has approximately 80 deaf students among a student body of roughly 400.
Mariam al Qubaisi, head of the special needs sector at the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care, which runs the centre, said the boys, who are between 16 and 18 years old, had completed grade eight at the special needs centre. "They know sign language in Arabic, but now they will take it in English," Mrs al Qubaisi said, adding that the boys would complete grade 12 at the American School for the Deaf, then go on to university. Mrs al Qubaisi said the system for deaf students in Abu Dhabi was amid an overhaul as students are being integrated into regular state schools.
Previously, all deaf students attended special schools and worked through the state curriculum at a slower pace than their peers. Under the old system, deaf students studied for 12 years but only completed grade eight. firstname.lastname@example.org