Edu4all Disability as Diversity

Disability as Diversity :The Inclusion of Students
with Disabilities in Higher Education

The University of Jordan​

University of Jordan

The University of Jordan (UJ) was established in 1962 and has become Jordan’s largest and most leading university. UJ offers more than 250 programs from 24 schools in various disciplines. About 94 of those programs are dedicated for BSc degrees while the remaining offer a wide variety of specialties in graduate study programs. UJ is a comprehensive university in terms of teaching both scientific and humanities fields of study. UJ graduates have exceeded 200 thousand and have a good employment reputation according to the QS World University Rankings in 2018. Since 2018, UJ is ranked among the worldwide top 601-650 universities. In the Arab world, UJ has been among the top ten universities since 2018. Recently, UJ achieved five stars according to the QS Stars University Ratings.

UJ has established a specialized department to consider students with disabilities and their needs to facilitate their academic life in both  undergraduate and graduate levels. Therefore, since 2002 all required academic and psychological services were provided through this department and several policies have been established for students with various types of disability at UJ. Complying with UJ strategic plans and values of providing an inclusive learning and civic engagement, UJ offers disabled students ninety percent tuition waiver. According to the UJ’s admission and registration records, currently there are around four hundred enrolled students with various types of disability study at UJ. UJ launched many projects to engage students with disabilities in higher education programs, such as planning a pedestrian lane that covers all areas of the campus to assist  students with visual disability, and constructing ramps along with every slope in every school building in order to help students with motor disability. Furthermore, most restrooms must be provided with accessible toilets. Despite the availability of many services to the disabled students, an academic unit that defines and supports their educational needs comprehensively is still one of the sought demands.

Edu4ALL project aims to establish an inclusive education unit that provides equal learning opportunities to the students with disability utilizing the latest technologies and tools. Besides serving disabled students, the unit will manage the  training of academic faculty members and administrative staff to leverage their capacities in dealing with disabled students. UJ participates in all work packages of Edu4ALL project. It leads the work package number 4, namely dissemination and exploitation. In this work package, UJ is supposed to administer the tasks of launching the project’s Website, preparing and planning a dissemination strategy, and organizing a conference for opening the Edu4ALL to  students with disabilities. Also, UJ plays a key role in work package number 1, namely preparation, as it is involved in all the tasks of this work package; particularly the third task, “forming committee of practice”. UJ designed and implemented an accessible web-based questionnaire to gather the needs of disabled students, and prepared interview questions for focus groups. Furthermore, UJ participated in defining the scope of web accessibility considerations.

Team Members

Ismail AL-Taharwa

Ismail AL-Taharwa is an assistant professor at the Computer Information Systems department, The University of Jordan, Aqaba Campus, Jordan.Ismail ALTaharwa received his B.Sc. degree in Computer Science and its Applications from The Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan, in 2005. He continued his studies at AL-Balqa’ Applied University, Al-Salt, Jordan, granted an M.Sc. degree in Computer Science in 2008. His master thesis emphasized improving mobile robotics path planning solutions leveraging Artificial Intelligence techniques, especially Computational Intelligence 

and Evolutionary Computations. He Awarded merit-based scholarship offered by the National Science Council of Taiwan (R.O.C.) to pursue his graduate studies at Taiwan’s top-ranked universities. Taking the valuable opportunity, ALTaharwa granted his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Information Engineering from National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech), Taipei, Taiwan (R.O.C.) 2014. He did his research in Intelligent Systems (IS) Lab under the supervision of Prof. Lee, Hahn-Ming. His Ph.D. dissertation emphasized on intelligent cybersecurity and information security solutions leveraging Machine learning techniques. His recent research interests include information security, Software Engineering, Business Intelligence, and E-learning.

Ismail AL-Taharwa

assistant professor at the Computer Information Systems department

Hossam Faris

Hossam Faris is a full professor at King Abdullah II School for Information Technology/ The University of Jordan (Jordan) and the School of Computing & Informatics/ Al Hussein Technical University.He received his BA, M.Sc. degrees (with excellent rates) in Computer Science from Yarmouk University and Al-Balqa` Applied University in 2004 and 2008, respectively in Jordan. Since then, he has been awarded a full-time competition-based PhD scholarship from the Italian Ministry of Education and Research to pursue his PhD degrees in e-Business at University of Salento, Italy, where he obtained his PhD degree in 2011.

In 2016, he worked as a Postdoctoral researcher with the GeNeura team at the Information and Communication Technologies Research Center (CITIC), University of Granada (Spain). In 2018, he held the position of director of the Open Educational Resources and Blinded learning center at The University of Jordan. His research interests include: Applied Machine Learning, Evolutionary Computation, Knowledge Systems, and Data mining

Hossam Faris

professor atInformation Technology

Alia Alghwiri

Professor Alia Alghwiri is a physical therapist who had her Master’s and PhD degrees in neurological rehabilitation from University of Pittsburgh, USA.She is interested in the brain and how it affects physical and mental aspects of the body. She has had many publications in the areas of the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) and other neurological disorders.Professor Alghwiri has been working as the vice dean of the school of rehabilitation sciences at University of Jordan since 2018, the head of the students with disability support department at the deanship of students affairs (2015-2016) 

and works on the facilitation of the educational process for students with disability at the university, the president of the Jordanian Physiotherapy Society (2017-2020), a board member at the Jordanian Sports Medicine Federation (2017-present), and a member at the World Confederation for Physiotherapy (WCPT) Congress Programme Committee (CPC) in 2019. In community service, Professor Alghwiri has lunched many initiatives to serve people with disability. Professor Alghwiri has been working as a member in 2 Erasmus plus projects named “Establishment of an Interdisciplinary Clinical Master Program in Rehabilitation Sciences at JUST (JUST-CRS)” and “Disability as diversity: the inclusion of students with disabilities in higher education (EDU4ALL)”.

Alia Alghwiri

PhD in neurological rehabilitation

Dr. Nazeeh Ghatasheh

Dr. Nazeeh Ghatasheh is an Associate professor at the Information Technology Department / The University of Jordan (Jordan).He received his B.Sc. degree in Computer Information Systems from The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan, in 2004. Then he was awarded merit-based scholarships to pursue his M.Sc. in e-Business Management and Ph.D. in e-Business at the University of Salento (Italy), which he obtained in 2008 and 2011 respectively. 

He served as Chairman of Information Technology and Computer Information Systems Departments, University Liaison Officer for Quality and Development, Dean’s Assistant for Quality and Development, Faculty Board Member, and Director of the Computer Center at The University of Jordan, Aqaba, Jordan. His research interests include e-Business, Business Analytics, Applied Computational Intelligence, and Data Mining.

Dr. Nazeeh Ghatasheh

Associate professor at the Information Technology

Khaled Aldebei

Khaled Aldebei, Assistant Professor at the Information Technology Department/The University of Jordan (Jordan).He received a Phd in computer science from the University of Technology, Sydney. Aldebei has the higher degree by research publication award from the University of Technology Sydney. He has an Oracle Certified Associate (OCA) and Oracle Certified Professional (OCP). Aldebei worked in the computer centre at the University of Jordan as a computer programmer and system analysis. 

Then, Aldebei worked in the Faculty of Information Technology and Systems, University of Jordan, as a teaching assistant. Since 2018, Aldebei works in the same faculty as an assistant professor. Aldebei has many programming skills, e.g. Python, Oracle (Form and Report Builder), MATLAB and Database (SQL, PL-SQL). He has published many articles in high rank journals and international conferences. Currently he is the head of Information Technology and Computer Information Systems departments. His current research interests include machine learning, data mining, text processing and natural language processing.

Khaled Aldebei

Assistant Professor at the Information Technology

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