The Department of Special Needs Education was established on May 4, 2007. It was the first of its kind in the country. It is important to note that before its establishment a joint graduate program had been offered at master’s level between Addis Ababa University and University of Oslo in Special Needs Education under the auspices of the Department of Psychology, since 1998. Currently, it is running four programs: two undergraduate programs in Special Needs Education and Speech –Language Therapy;   Master’s and PhD programs in Special Needs Education. The Department has a history of long standing collaboration with the University of Oslo, University of Jyavasklua, Maximillans University of Munich and University of Vienna.

The Department has currently 13 academic staff members with the following academic profile: 1 professor, 3 associate professors, 4 assistant professors, 2 lecturers, and 3 assistant graduates. The Department has also 1 support staff for secretarial service. The Department is proud of having over 50% female staff members two instructors with vision impairment, and hosting several deaf students as well as students with visual impairment in its undergraduate and graduate programs.

Vision statement

The vision of the Department is to become center of excellence in teaching, research and community service in the field of special needs/ inclusive education in the country as well as the region.

 Mission Statement

Its mission is to prepare professionals with the necessary the knowledge, pedagogical and social skills and work-ethics committed to the enhancement of the capacity and wellbeing persons with special needs with a focus on disability issues. To this end, the Department envisages to produce range of   capable personal at different levels, such as practitioners at grassroots, teachers in special units, inclusive schools, head of inclusive education resource centers, experts in federal, regional and woreda education offices; researchers, lectures in higher education institutions; technical advisors for policy makers, non-governmental and international organizations in field of special needs/inclusive education in the country.

Core Values

  • Academic excellence
  • Professionalism
  • Inclusiveness
  • Student-centeredness
  • Respect for human rights