Between September 21st and 30th the conference on Professional Development in Special Needs Education in Iraqi and Kurdistan Universities (PROD-I) was held at the University of Oldenburg in Germany. Two academic staff of the University of Zakho namely; Asst. Prof. Mr. Ivan H. Murad, Faculty Member of English Department, Director of Language Center, and Mrs. Kazheen Hussein Kro, Faculty Member of Psychology Department. The conference started with a warm welcome by Prof. Dr. Clemens Hillenbrand, the Head of the Department of Special Needs Education and Rehabilitation in which he presented a short history of the project and the aims and objectives of its continuation.
The conference lasted for eight days during which a number of workshops, activities, and school visits were conducted. Below is a list of the workshops that were covered during this conference:
1. The Role of Special Needs Education at the University of Oldenburg.
2. The Bologna Process - Goals and Experiences in Germany.
3. Skills of Special Needs Education Teachers.
4. Introduction Learning Disabilities
5. Introduction Physical Impairments
6. School Internships and the Criteria Based Reflection and Analysis of Students Practical Teaching Experiences.
7. Inside Heterogeneous Classrooms: Successfully Choosing and Combining Methods in Your Lesson or Lecture.
8. Diagnostics in the curriculum of BA and MA of SNE at the University of Oldenburg. Assessment of motor skills and motor function.
9. Assessment of Intellectual Functioning — Borderline Intellectual Functioning in distinction from Intellectual Disability.
10. Structures and Conception of Modules regarding the Bologna Criteria.
A number of activities were conducted during this workshop period, as follows:
1. A visit was paid to the library of the University of Oldenburg in which Dr. Oliver Schönbeck gave a detailed presentation on the available resources in the library and the mechanism through which students and the academic staff can make use of the availability of different academic resources.
2. Different visits were paid to some special and inclusive schools: the following were the schools the participants of the conference visited:
A. Kardinal-von-Galen Haus, Dinklage
B. Schule Borchersweg Oldenburg
C. OBS Alexanderstraße
Towards the end of the conference each participating University delivered a presentation on a topic related to the theme of the conference. It is worth mentioning that Asst. Prof. Mr. Ivan Murad and Mrs. Kazheen Kro presented a book chapter which Mr. Ivan had jointly written with one of the professors from Vechta University in Germany side by side to a number of other presentations. Finally, the conference was closed by a conclusion and the dissemination of the certificates on the attendees from the participating universities from Iraq and Kurdistan Region.