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Education and disability

Anywhere that gives education must provide resources and facilities for people with disabilities.


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in education


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If you have a learning difficulty or disability, then you may be eligible for special consideration during exams (including the Leaving Cert and A Levels). With some learning difficulties (such as dyslexia), you might be exempt from the normal requirement to study Irish or a foreign language. Ask your teachers for more information.

If you are applying to university or college, check if your disability makes you eligible for an allowance in the entry requirements.

Anywhere that provides education (schools, colleges, universities, institutes, etc.) must provide resources and facilities for people with disabilities. It's a good idea to tell your school, college or university about your disability. Ask them for what you need and about what help is available. Such supports can include having an assistant that goes to your lectures and takes notes for you. Supports might also include extra time for exams, having the examiner read the questions to you, taking exams in a private room and having an examiner scribe for you.

If you have dyslexia or hearing or sight difficulties you can ask for permission to record classes or ask the teacher/ lecturer for printed notes. If you are a wheelchair user or have mobility problems then you should contact the school, university or college to make sure that all classes and facilities (including sports) are accessible to you. Most of the Irish universities are not fully accessible, but many are trying to address this problem.

All universities and colleges have someone who is responsible for support of student's with disabilities. They are usually called a disability or access officer. Make sure to speak to this person and let them know if there's anything specific you need (like educational materials, recorders, print outs of lectures or wheelchair access) or any facilities you're not happy with.

Some universities and colleges provide accessible accommodation. If not, contact the local authority or county council in that area and ask for a list of accessible accommodation. Education can offer a person with a disability just as much of a chance as everyone else to get a qualification. A qualification will give anybody (disabled or not) a chance to get started in the career of his or her choice.

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Published January 21st, 2013
Last updated November 28th, 2016
Tags disability education college
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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