“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent van Gogh




Ranjini Ramnath is a seasoned professional who has been deeply involved in the field of disability and Rehabilitation.  A career spanning over three decades has helped her gain valuable insights, develop compassion and a deep desire to enhance the quality of  lives of individuals with disabilities.  It is this rich and varied experience that has empowered her with the  knowledge and wisdom required in her role as the Director of Al Noor. 


With a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), she has taken on the added responsibility of  supporting staff providing behavior analytic services for students with autism. Drawing on her extensive experience, Ranjini assumed the role of a trusted guide to the staff, skillfully navigating them through their  paths of serving individuals  with disabilities.


It was in ¬†1991 when Ranjini made the life changing decision to pursue a career in ¬† special education in India. Ever since, her journey has been characterized by an unwavering pursuit of knowledge in the field of disability and rehabilitation. ¬†Ranjini has worked in 3 countries – India, ¬†Sultanate of Oman, after which in 1995, ¬†she found her professional home at the Al Noor Centre UAE. ¬†In Al Noor, Ranjini ¬†undertook diverse roles, from special education, to vocational training, and later acquiring board certification as a behavior analyst. Leap forward to the present, to the year 2020 ‚Äď a year that she was appointed as the director of the Al Noor Centre. To Ranjini, ¬†leadership means creation of an environment that fosters growth, inclusivity, and empowerment for both students and staff.


Among Ranjini’s many hobbies, the ¬†pursuit of the study of Indian classical music holds a special place in her heart. ¬†She is also one of the longest serving members of an acapella chorus group in Dubai ‚Äď a joyous synthesis of harmony and sisterhood.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs


Introducing Deepika Gopalarao, a dynamo in the realm of Speech and Language Pathology and Disability Rehabilitation, boasting an impressive track record of over two and half decades of experience in India, US and UAE. Armed with a Master’s degree in Audiology and Speech Rehabilitation from the esteemed University of Mumbai (1997), Deepika radiates expertise and enthusiasm.

Her professional stint in UAE kicks off in 2006 at the vibrant Al Noor Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities. Imagine this timeline: she‚Äôs the go-to Speech and Language Pathologist from 2006 to 2009, infusing her magic into countless lives. Then, she wears the hats of Research, Training, and ICT Coordinator (2008-2013), leading the tech brigade for progress. Fast forward to 2013, where Deepika is the Rehabilitation Services Coordinator and Head of the ‚ÄúCommunication, Language, and Speech‚ÄĚ realm. Here, she‚Äôs not just the captain; she‚Äôs the wind beneath the wings of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Psychology, Social Work, Assistive Technology, ICT and Vision Rehab

She has shone as a Fulbright Research Scholar (2005-06) in the US, in Special Education/Audiology at the Boys Town National Research Hospital! She‚Äôs a conference maven, dazzling the international stage, and her wisdom even graces prestigious peer-reviewed journals. Think expert resource person, seminars, trainings, and workshops ‚Äď they all clamor for Deepika‚Äôs magic touch.

A lover of words and a spinner of dreams, Deepika dances in the universe of Child and Adult Neurogenic Communication Disorders, and don‚Äôt even get her started on Augmentative and Alternative Communication! 

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela



Suman Nayak, a dedicated professional with over 25 years of service at Al Noor, is committed to fostering excellence among her students. Her educational background from India includes degrees in Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education (General), Bachelor in Special Education, Post Graduate Diploma in Mental Health in Mental Retardation, and a Master’s in Special Education.

Starting as a Class Teacher in the Advanced Learners‚Äô Unit, Suman has employed a structured approach to academic instruction, leading to remarkable transformations in students’ lives. She pioneered the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) Secondary Academic Course at Al Noor, securing accreditation and facilitating the graduation and certification of 11 students through her tireless efforts. She also established the Bakery & Confectionery Course, a vocational unit at the Centre.

Suman’s dedication extends beyond academics as she actively involves students in environmental activities, promoting recycling and conservation efforts. With her unwavering commitment and successful initiatives, she quickly advanced from Head of Senior Girls to Senior Unit, and she currently serves as the Coordinator of Vocational Training Units encompassing Bakery, Fashion Technology, Printing Technology, Wood Design Technology, and Media & Mass Communication.

Her story is an inspiration, highlighting the profound impact that educators can have on their students and institutions when driven by passion, innovation, and dedication

“True life is lived when tiny changes occur.” – Leo Tolstoy


Stephen’s journey began as a Physical Therapist, which paved the way for a diverse and multifaceted career path. His pursuits include training, research, administration, management, and even international collaborations, forming a symphony of experiences that enrich his expertise. Armed with a master’s degree in Physiotherapy, specializing in neurology, along with an intriguing fellowship in neurological rehabilitation, he stands as a knowledgeable and dedicated professional.
His passion is deeply rooted in Neuro-rehabilitation, where he meticulously designs interventions that significantly impact lives. Whether it’s stroke rehabilitation, gait training, or seating assessments, Stephen’s interventions bring about profound transformations for individuals grappling with neurological challenges.

He has a strong passion for teaching and has been in the role of teaching course modules in physical therapy and special education. He has been a speaker at many conferences and workshops. He has been instrumental in organizing many regional, national, and international conferences.

He was instrumental in building many collaborations and networking with experts and institutions to influence service provision, policy, and the promotion of best practices in disability rehabilitation.

Beyond his visible roles, Stephen is also tirelessly engaged behind the scenes. He consistently composes research projects and cultivates harmonious partnerships with industry peers, positioning himself at the forefront of his field. Stephen also finds joy in exploring new places, immersing himself in music, and getting lost in the world of books.


“Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” – Verna Myers



With a distinguished career spanning over 16 years, Carla Xaiver has established herself as a prominent figure in the realm of disability and rehabilitation. Her professional journey has encompassed various specialized areas, yielding remarkable achievements that reflect her dedication and expertise.

Carla’s academic background is characterized by a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Science, a testament to her commitment to continuous learning and enhancing her skillset in the realm of disability and rehabilitation.

Carla’s diverse experience encompasses research, vision rehabilitation, and special education for children and young adults with intellectual disabilities. She is a co-author of a research paper titled “Literacy Tech Tools for Students with Significant Intellectual Disabilities in a Special Education Setting,” which was published in a special edition of the “ICT in Disability Rehabilitation and Management ‚Äď Inclusive Development Conference” proceedings book by the Holy Cross Publication House, Tiruchirapalli.

She has served as a resource person, delivering an invited lecture on “Innovative and Accessible Instructional Methods and Tools ‚Äď The UDL Way” during the International FDP ‚Äď CRE Webinar Series III on Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Persons with Disabilities ‚Äď Vision for the Future, organized by the PG and Research Department of Rehabilitation Science, Holy Cross College (Autonomous), Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India.

Carla has also presented on “Universal Design for Learning” in the CPD/CRE Virtual Conference titled “Annual Series on Clinical Issues in the Implementation of Rehabilitation Services in a Special School Setup.”¬†

Carla’s multifaceted experience, commitment to inclusivity, and profound expertise contribute significantly to our team’s holistic approach in the field of disability and rehabilitation. Her dedication to ensuring the inclusivity of all her students at Al Noor exemplifies her mission to provide a nurturing and accessible educational environment for everyone under her care.

‚ÄúOccupational Therapy. Hopeless into hope. Can‚Äôt into can. Impossible into possible.‚ÄĚ – Valerie Pena



With a professional journey spanning over three decades, Shruti Nadkarni stands as an authority in the realm of sensory integration intervention. Her impressive track record is illuminated by numerous achievements, most notably the coveted Princess Haya Award for Excellence, an acknowledgment of her exceptional contributions to the field.

Holding a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, Shruti’s academic foundation underscores her commitment to maintaining the highest standards of knowledge and proficiency in her field.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Shruti’s affable and outgoing demeanor fosters an environment of collaboration and mutual respect. Her fondness for literary exploration is evident through her leisurely pursuit of reading. Furthermore, she channels her creativity into hobbies like crochet and knitting, showcasing her dedication to detail-oriented craftsmanship.

Shruti’s dedication to the domain of sensory integration intervention extends beyond her professional achievements. With an unwavering commitment to inclusivity, she ensures that each individual under her care receives tailored support to reach their full potential. Moreover, she is keen on developing the unique talents of her students through co-curricular services, adding an extra dimension to her holistic approach.

Shruti’s presence elevates our team, infusing it with years of experience, a proven track record of excellence, and a warm personality that fosters collaboration. Her tireless efforts to ensure the well-being and growth of those she serves are a true testament to her passion for making a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals.