3rd-level education - Special Needs

There are two programmes which facilitate access to and participation in 3rd-level education by young people with disabilities and special needs.

  • The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a 3rd-level alternative admissions scheme, offering places on specific academic courses at reduced points.
  • Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD)which provides the following supports:
    • Assistive technology equipment and software (including student training)
    • Non-medical helpers (e.g. personal assistants, notetakers)
    • Academic/learning support
    • Deaf supports (sign language interpreters, speedtext)
    • Transport support

Colleges participating in these programmes include: Cork Institute of Technology; Dublin City University; Institute of Technology, Carlow; Limerick Institute of Technology; Maynooth University; National University of Ireland, Galway; Mary Immaculate College, Thurles & Limerick; Royal College of Surgeons; Trinity College Dublin; University College Cork; University College Dublin; University of Limerick; and Waterford Institute of Technology.

Some 3rd-level institutions also have accommodation on campus with modified facilities to suit students with disabilities, such as University of Limerick.

Target Group: Young people with special needs and disabilities

How to access: Application to DARE is done as part of the CAO application process: see http://accesscollege.ie/dare/making-an-application/steps-to-making-an-application/

To be considered for supports available through the FSD, students are advised to register with the disability support services or the access office in their college as soon as possible.

Some contact details:

  • University of Limerick: Tel. (061) 2027000
  • TUS (Technological University Shannon, Midlands Mid West): Tel. (061) 293000
  • Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT): Tel. (051) 302000
  • University College Dublin (UCD): Tel. (01) 7167777
  • University College Cork (UCC): Tel. (021) 4903000
  • Cork Institute of Technology: Tel. (021) 4326100
  • Mary Immaculate College, Limerick: Tel. (061) 204300