The State of Special Needs in the Iraqi Higher Education Context

Keywords: Higher education, Inclusion, Learning disabilities, Special needs


This paper delves into a comprehensive investigation of the current situation faced by students with special needs (SSNs) and learning disabilities (LDs) across various educational levels. It aims to shed light on the existing challenges experienced by these learners in primary, secondary, and higher education settings. To ensure the validity of the findings, this study adopts a multi-method approach that combines observation, interviews, and an extensive review of relevant literature in the field. By employing observational techniques, researchers closely observe the daily experiences of SSN students within educational environments. Interviews are conducted with students, teachers, and parents to gain valuable insights into their perspectives and understand the specific difficulties they encounter. In addition, the study thoroughly examines prior scholarly works and research papers related to SSN and LD, enhancing the breadth and depth of the investigation. Upon culmination, this paper presents a set of recommendations directed toward the teaching staff, administrative personnel, and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. These suggestions aim to foster an inclusive and supportive educational ecosystem that caters to the unique needs of SSN students. They encompass strategies for curriculum development, teacher training, classroom accommodations, and administrative policies, which collectively contribute to enhancing the learning experience and overall well-being of SSN learners.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Imadin M. Zannrni, Department of Translation, Cihan University-Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Imadin M Zannrni is an assistant lecturer at the Department of Translation, Cihan University-Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. His research interests are English Language, Translation and Literature.

Laila B. Shareef, Department of General Education, Cihan University-Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Laila B. Shareef is an assistant lecturer at the Department of General Education, Cihan University-Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Her research interests are English language Learning, Literature and Linguistics.


Bennett, T., Bruns, D., & Deluca, D. (1997). Putting inclusion into practice: Perspectives of teachers and parents. Exceptional Children Journal, 64(1), 115-131.

Brusling, C., & Pepin, B. (2003). Inclusion in schools: Who is in need of what? European Educational Research Journal, 2(2), 197-201.

Casey, K. (1994). Teaching Children with Special Needs. Wentworth Falls, Australia: Social Science Press.

Cummings, R., Maddux, C.D., & Casey, J. (2000). Individualized transition planning for students with learning disabilities. The Career Development Quarterly, 49(1), 60-72.

Denzin, N.K., & Lincoln, Y.S. (2004). Methodological issues. In: Handbook of Social Problems: A Comparative International Perspective. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, p30.

Devetak, I., & Glažar, S.A. (2010). The influence of 16‐year‐old students’ gender, mental abilities, and motivation on their reading and drawing sub-micro-representations achievements. International Journal of Science Education, 32(12), 1561-1593.

Even, R. (2005). Integrating knowledge and practice at MANOR in the development of providers of professional development for teachers. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 8, 343-357.

Foreman, F., (ed.). (2008). Inclusion in Action. 2nd ed. Sydney: Cengage.

Gaad, E., (2004b). Pre-services attitudes towards a career in special education in the United Arab Emirates. College Student Journal, 38(4), 619-632.

Gajar, A. (1992). Adults with learning disabilities: Current and future research priorities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 25(8), 507-519.

Getzel, E.E., & Gugerty, J.J. (1996). Applications for youth with learning disabilities. In: Wehman, P., (ed.), Life Beyond the Classroom: Transition Strategies for Young People with Disabilities. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company. p337-389.

Janiga, S.J., & Costenbader, V. (2002). The transition from high school to postsecondary education for students with learning disabilities: A survey of college service coordinators. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 35(5), 463-470.

Lerner, J. (1997). An empirical exploration of a technology race. The Rand Journal of Economics, 28(2), 228-247.

Levinson, E.M., Zeman, H.L., & Ohler, D.L. (2002). A critical evaluation of the web‐based version of the career key. The Career Development Quarterly, 51(1), 26-35.

Ryan, K., Greene, J., Lincoln, Y., Mathison, S., Mertens, D.M., & Ryan, K. (1998). Advantages and challenges of using inclusive evaluation approaches in evaluation practice. American Journal of Evaluation, 19(1), 101-122.

Shalev, R.S., Manor, O., & Gross-Tsur, V. (2005). Developmental dyscalculia: A prospective six-year follow-up. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 47(2), 121-125.

Stewart, D., & Mickunas, A. (1990). Exploring Phenomenology: Guide to Field and Its Literature. United States: Ohio University Press.

Vygotsky, L.S., & Cole, M. (1978). Mind in Society: Development of Higher Psychological Processes. United States: Harvard University Press.

Waters, E., & Cummings, E.M. (2000). A secure base from which to explore close relationships. Child Development, 71(1), 164-172.

Wirt, J., Choy, S., Rooney, P., Provasnik, S., Sen, A., & Tobin, R. (2004). The Condition of Education 2004. NCES 2004-077. United States: US Department of Education.

Mertens, D.M., & McLaughlin, J.A. (2004). Research and Evaluation Methods in Special Education. California: Crown Prince.

Zannrni, I.M. (2022a). Measuring Students’ Critical Thinking. Cihan University- Erbil Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 6(1), 54-58.

Zannrni, I.M. (2022b). The role of students’ classroom presentations in developing their speaking skills. Cihan University-Erbil J Humanities and Social Sciences, 6(1), 87-91.

How to Cite
Zannrni, I., & Shareef, L. (2024). The State of Special Needs in the Iraqi Higher Education Context. Cihan University-Erbil Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 8(1), 83-86.