Media coverage for my study and publication

Issue 70 -Summer 2018 
There is a section of CSUN magazine designated to published authors
Here on my chapter book

Experiences Of Families From Middle East, North Africa, And Southwest Asia In The United Statesچاپ
vokradio, Los Angeles, California, USA   


Experiences of Families from Middle East, North Africa, and Southwest Asia in the United States

Families of Children with Special Needs Survey

Dear Friends,

You are being asked to take part in a research study conducted by Soraya Fallah, CSUN Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, as part of the requirements for the Ed.D. degree. If you choose to participate in this study, you will complete an anonymous survey. This survey will help us learn more about the experiences of families of children with special needs from Middle East, North Africa, and Southwest Asia in the United States. This survey is an opportunity for families like you to share your opinions about your related child’s special education program and personnel. We hope that the knowledge gathered from this survey can help improve special education programs and inform schools on how to best serve Middle Eastern, North African, and Southwest Asian families of children with special needs. The survey will take about 45 minutes to complete.

You are eligible to participate if you are:
  • 18 or older
  • Currently live in the United States
  • Have a child or family member with special needs who is either currently attending school in the United States or has attended school in the United States within the past 10 years.
  • You or your family of origin are from a country, region, ethnic or religious minority group considered to be part of Middle East, North Africa, and Southwest Asia.
The following countries and territories are included: Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Georgia, Iran, Iraq,Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kurdistan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, The United Arab Emirates, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine (The West Bank and Gaza Strip), Qatar, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey , Uzbekistan, Yemen.

Please note that this study is intended to be inclusive of all families who have ties to these regions, therefore, all ethnic and religious groups from Middle East, North Africa, and Southwest Asia are encouraged to take this survey. This includes, but is not limited to: Arabs, Armenians, Assyrians, Azari, Bahá'ís, Balochs, Chaldean, Druze, Kurds, Lurs, Persian, Turkmens, Turks, Yazidis, Zazas, and others can participate in this study, even if not specifically named above.

You may complete this survey even if you are not the parent or primary caretaker of the child with special needs, as long as you have shared some responsibilities for the child’s education.

Most questions will give you the option to skip questions that you do not want to answer, and you may stop the survey at any time. Your responses are anonymous and no one will be able to link your answers back to you. Please do not include your name or other information that could be used to identify you in the survey responses. The data collected from this study will be used for research purposes and will be retained for two years. The potential risks of this study involve no more than minimal risk. There are no known harms or discomforts associated with this study beyond those encountered in normal daily life.

If you have any comments, concerns, or questions regarding the conduct of this research, please contact Dr. Wendy Murawski at : 818-677-7494 and Soraya Fallah at 818-434-9609. If you have concerns or complaints about the research study or questions about your rights as a research participant, please contact Research and Sponsored Projects: phone 818-677-2901 or email This study is voluntary. If you do not wish to participate, please disregard this letter. If you are taking this survey online, please close your browser window to exit the survey.

If you want to participate in this study, click Next to begin the survey.
Thank you in advance for your time. Your answers are important and we appreciate your input.
Soraya Fallah
ELPS doctoral candidate ,CSUN

 Click the button below to start the survey. Thank you for your participation!
Begin Survey

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 Voice of Kurdish-American Radio for Democracy, Peace, and Freedom

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Kurdish researcher to help families of children with special needs

Kurdish researcher to help families of children with special needs
A disabled Ezidi child was discovered in a desert near Sinjar by Kurdish fighters. Paralysis meant he was unable to shield his eyes or move to a sheltered spot. He lost sight after staring at the sun for two days. (Photo: Archive)
LOS ANGELES, United States (Kurdistan24) – A Kurdish woman is studying the situation of families of students with disabilities to help create a more effective educational curriculum and apply the model in Kurdistan.
Soraya Fallah, a Kurdish activist who is undertaking her doctorate studies in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at California State University, Northridge is studying the situation of culturally and linguistically diverse families in the US whose children require special care.
Her research was chosen for the 31st Annual CSU Student Research Competition.
The award is to “promote excellence in undergraduate and graduate scholarly research and creative activity by recognizing outstanding student accomplishments."
Fallah told Kurdistan24 the low graduation rate of students with disabilities compared to their non-disabled counterparts inspired her to choose this topic.
She added that children with disabilities who come from the Middle East, North Africa, and southwest Asia and immigrate to the United States often find themselves at a double disadvantage.
“First, because they are ethnically and culturally different from the dominant group and speak languages other than English, they often experience hardships during the acculturation and socialization processes,” she explained.
“Second, children with special needs may have learning deficiencies, placing them at an additional disadvantage in educational contexts where administrators and teachers are not properly trained to meet their unique needs,” the researcher continued.
Despite linguistic and cultural disadvantages in addition to disabilities, statistics are not available, and Fallah hopes to fill the gap to help special educational personnel design effective family-school collaboration.
“The lack of research on this population in the context of disability highlights the lack of preparation of special education programs for serving this population with cultural sensitivity,” Fallah said.
In addition to physical and cultural disadvantages, such students could have also experienced war, displacement or other traumatic events.
They may also come from a family who views their disability as a stigma.
Fallah added that immigrants of Kurdish descent, like individuals from other nationalities, were raising students with disabilities.
There is currently no data regarding the presence of disabilities among the Kurdish population.
“I see a need to open this issue to break the stigma between members of the community,” she said.
Fallah concluded that quality primary education could pave the way for creating future innovators, leaders, and scientists.
“I would like to use the finding of this study to collaborate with universities in Kurdistan, to take the successful model based on study’s finding to that region,” Fallah said.
Fallah hopes to facilitate exchange and dialogue among education leaders in Kurdistan to improve the educational curriculum for students with special needs.
“I hope to help create quality global educational standards for primary education through the exchange between American institutions and academia in Kurdistan,” she concluded.
To contribute to this study, take the survey
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany


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