Department of Special Needs Education and Rehabilitation
The Department of Special Needs Education and Rehabilitation (German: "Institut fuer Sonder- und Rehabilitationspaedagogik"), founded in 1975, is part of the Faculty I /School of Educational and Social Sciences at the University of Oldenburg (UO) in Northwest-Germany. Oldenburg is an old medieval-town near the North-Sea with nowadays more than 160,000 inhabitants. It can easily be reached by train, car or bus from the airport in the nearby city of Bremen.
The University of Oldenburg was founded in 1971 as a modern Reform-University to meet the needs of the people for a university as a higher education institution in the North-West of Germany. But it is also a successor of an old teacher college founded in 1793 in Oldenburg. Currently, the University is organized into six Faculties (colleges/schools).
The School of Educational and Social Sciences (Faculty I) consists of (1) the Department of education (with several subdivisions like Adult and Further Education), (2) the Department of Special Needs Education & Rehabilitation, (3) the Department of Social Sciences and (4) the Interdisciplinary 'Center for Migration and Culture (CMC)'.
The Department of Special Needs Education & Rehabilitation offers several academic programs and a variety of research projects. Students in the Special Needs Education program select from five specialization areas:
- Special educational foundations and cross-categorical Special needs Education: Rehabilitation & Rehabilitative Psychology
- Special needs Education for individuals with learning disabilities
- Special needs Education for individuals with an intellectual disability (ID)/ developmental delay
- Special needs Education for individuals with physical impairments
- Special needs Education for individuals with emotional disturbances and behavior disorders (EBD).
Besides these main topics, there are other special courses and research programs in assessment and counseling, vocational training, and the transition areas: kindergarten to school, primary school to secondary education, school to work. Some of them are in a close collaboration with other subdivisions or departments like Adult Education, Educational Psychology, Social Work Education (see structure of the Faculty I).
The Department of Special Needs Education & Rehabilitation has fifteen full time faculty members (six full or associate professors, one assistant professor) and nearly 500 students enrolled in the Special Needs Education program (BA & M Ed, teacher track) and another 250 students in the general education program (M.A.), with a major in "Special needs Education & Rehabilitation". Students work towards a teacher's degree in special education, for a Graduate Diploma in (special) education, for a master's (M.A.) or for a doctoral degree (Ph.D.). A new more formalized doctoral program in 'Special Needs Education' and 'Rehabilitation' has started in 2009.
The Department has collaborative relationships with several departments for special education all over the world, e.g. at the Universities of Hanover, Wuerzburg and Rostock (Germany), the University of Groningen (Netherlands), the Liverpool John Moores University (England, GB), the University of Budapest (Hungary) and the UMUC (Maryland, USA).
Currently several research projects are running on (with a focus on "participation"):
- Re-Habilitation and Social Integration of Individuals with Disabilities
- Children, Young People and Families at Risk
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
- Education and Assistive Technology
- Barriers and Communication – Barriers to Participation (with a special emphasis on the situation of individuals with hearing impairments within the life-span; on the situation of pre-delinquent youngsters)
- Transition for Individuals at Risk from School to Vocational Programs/ Work
- School based/community based intervention for students at risk of truancy/ drop-out
- Behavioral Literacy/ "Reaction Pattern Research". An International Network Investigating the Attitudinal Reactions of Juveniles with Regard to Social Limits
- Training of Juveniles with ADHD
- Rehabilitation and Health Care