Information about the Institute

Information about the Institute
The original Department of Special Education, Palacký University in Olomouc was established in October 1965. The Department had four lecturers. In addition to internal staff, the Department collaborated with many external doctors, researchers and experienced headteachers of schools for students with health disability. The first Head of Department was PhDr. Josef Sasín, CSc. On 1 July 1968, the Department was joined by PaedDr. Ladislav Štejgerle, who had been previously involved in the process of establishment of the Department.
All employees of the Department contributed to its development in terms of organizational, professional and material capacity. From 1968, the Department was located in a building in Univerzitní náměstí No. 1. From its establishment, the Department offered full-time as well as part-time study for employees focused on teaching and education. The Department organized important special education seminars and scientific meetings with international participation. The members of the Department significantly contributed to publication activities, had papers published in special education collections, issued university textbooks and published in industry journals. Equally important roles in research activities were played by the Department’s lecturers.
The Department of Special Education went through a difficult period in the mid-1970s. After associate professor Josef Sasín left, the Department was subject to personnel changes and reorganization of the study – the original five-year course was replaced with a four-year integrated study. From 1974 the Department was headed by PaedDr. Ladislav Štejgerle, who together with new members consolidated the situation and defended the good position of the Department in the field of special education. In September 1978 PaedDr. Ladislav Štejgerle retired and was replaced by PaedDr. Ludvík Edelsberger. In 1986 the Department under the leadership of PaedDr. L. Ludíková and PaedDr. A. Peutelschmiedová established the Club of Special Educators, which had been previously run unofficially by students of special education. The activities of the Club included lectures, discussions, field trips and special meetings of special educators and students with professionals from other fields.
In September 1987, the Division of Special Extracurricular Education became independent and, in addition to the Department of Special Education, a new department was established called the Department of Special Educational Approaches.
The Head of the Department of Special Education was appointed doc. PhDr. Drahomíra Holoušová, CSc.
From February 1990 to June 1991 the department was located in a building in tř. 17. listopadu (today’s Faculty of Law). Since the academic year 1991/1992 the Department has been located in Žižkovo náměstí No. 5. In the same year, the Head of Department was appointed doc. PhDr. Jaroslav Kysučan, CSc., who led the Department until 1999. In 1999 he was replaced by prof. PaedDr. Libuše Ludíková, CSc. After her appointment the Dean of the Faculty of Education, Palacký University in 2006 the Head of Department was appointed Mgr. Oldřich Müller, Ph.D.
By an amendment to the Statute of the Faculty of Education, Palacký University approved by the Academic Senate on March 2009, the institute was transformed and renamed from the Department of Special Education to the Institute of Special Education Studies. Since 2009 the Director of the Institute has been doc. PhDr. Eva Souralová, Ph.D.
The Institute of Special Education Studies, Faculty of Education, Palacký University is the largest academic institution in the Czech Republic focused on special education. The Institute offers a wide range of Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral degree programmes (in Czech, English and Russian), students can take the state rigorous examination, the Institute also organizes associate professorship and professorship in special education.
In addition to study courses, the Institute is engaged in research and publication activities, issues a scientific reviewed journal Journal of Exceptional People, holds scientific conferees and its employees are successful investigators of a number of research, innovation and developmental projects. The employees and students of the Institute closely collaborate with the Centre of Support for Students with Special Needs at Palacký University in Olomouc. The Institute has also established a civic association called the Association of Special Education Students.