Apple Distinguished School Recognition


Khadija has hearing loss and participated in the Ear Care Awareness Campaign 2019, showcasing the latest applications available on iPad for hearing impaired.


About SAS

266 Students in Abu-Dhabi and Dubai Campuses


SAS Team

Federal University
Undergraduate Students of Determination


Apple Technology in SAS

iPad, MacBook, iPhone, Apple Pencil, Apple TV, Assistive Technology compatible with Apple Devices Accessibility features
Certified Apple Learning Specialists,
Inclusive Learning Center in Dubai Campus inspired by Apple Technology

ZU Today

The Department of Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at Zayed University (ZU) provides academic support to Students of Determination to ensure equitable access to education.

SAS acts as a facilitator between Students of Determination and educators to meet students’ academic requirements. SAS specialists provide accessibility training to students, educators, and other ZU departments and colleges to foster inclusion and participation.

SAS utilizes Apple Technology to deliver accessibility services and was recognized as an Apple Distinguished School in 2016 and 2018.

Currently, SAS provides accessibility advise in the UAE and the GCC region. This outreach includes delivering training to educators, students, and parents. The training is focused on creating and consuming accessibility content with Apple technology.

Our ethos is "Everyone Can Shine."

ZU Vision

The vision of SAS is to empower Students of Determination to reach their full potential. Students are provided with personalized support to develop social, academic, and technical skills to become independent learners and shine. Apple Technology is a crucial enabler for SAS to execute its vision.

The SAS 2022-2026 strategic plan identifies four priorities:

  • Engage constituents to foster a culture of inclusion, innovation, and resilience.

  • Enhance the student experience by constantly improving and accommodating to their needs.

  • Extend the advocacy of technology accessibility services within the higher education sector at both national and regional levels.

  • Promote People of Determination as valuable members of the UAE community and workforce through the Accessibility Outreach Programme.


Technology is enabling access to undergraduate education for Students of Determination.


Each student is assessed to determine the assistive and accessible technology required as per their disability and needs. This personalized approach empowers students to excel in both their academic and social lives.


Students receive and create accessible Learning content authoring tools, including Pages and Keynote. The iPad's and iPhone's accessibility features, such as AssistiveTouch and VoiceOver, are used extensively. These accessibility features ensure equity within the classroom and in remote learning, allowing inclusion and participation.

SAS specialists empower educators and students by providing training on tools and apps in our inclusive learning center, enabling accommodation of students and allowing smooth access to course content.


Students and educators interact in a dynamic and enriched learning environment through tailored workshops delivered by specialists where students reflect on their experiences in using assistive and accessible technology.

Students of Determination volunteer at disability awareness events targeting ZU and external communities to promote inclusivity.

SAS established the Outreach Program in 2019 in response to the high demand to train educators on inclusion and accessibility from other educational institutions.


SAS students' roles have transformed since 2018 from passive training attendees to actively engage as content creators and accessibility co-trainers. With Apple technology, our students create learning projects that reflect their understanding. Specialists provide tailored solutions for each student, Substituting some traditional assistive technology machines with iPads.


A key indicator of success is evident in students' achievements. Omar testifies that Apple technology greatly assisted him through his undergraduate course. Mjd recounts how Apple technology provided him with a space to express himself.


SAS has implemented Case Studies to evaluate the quality of our services. Furthermore, we conduct Action Research to improve SAS practices.


ZU What’s next

We plan to:

  • invest in research practices that influence students' academic progress.

  • improve our capabilities by piloting the "Everyone Can Create" and "Everyone Can Code."

  • expand our outreach by enabling students and alumni to design and execute technology-oriented accessibility initiatives.

We believe that everyone can shine, and this starts with education equity. Although SAS began at the tertiary level, it's even more critical to reach out to institutions at the primary and secondary levels. Apple technology has enabled us to deliver on our mission, and we will move forward with our stakeholders to drive the inclusion agenda in the UAE and beyond.

ZUApple Distinguished School Voices


ZUPrevious Awards


Apple Distinguished School Since 2016

The department of Student Accessibility Services at Zayed University aims to provide special needs students with equal growth opportunities by offering them state-of-the-art educational and recreational facilities that enhance their academic, personal, and professional development.

In 2016 Student Accessibility Services (SAS) was awarded the Apple Distinguished School Award for the promotion of the assistive technology features of Apple among Students of Determination. After two years SAS submitted for the second award which was presented at the end of 2018. As part of the application process SAS submitted an iBook outlining the journey we have taken in the past two years.

Click here to see what we have achieved since our initial award. You can watch our previous iBook applications using an iPhone or an iPad.