Peer support for digital skills & inclusion in Education and Employment


Did you know that the visiting teacher service run by the Department of Education and Skills provides support in schools for children who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired? Visiting Teachers are qualified teachers with particular skills and knowledge of the development and education of children with hearing or visual impairments. The service offers support to children, their families and their schools through to the end of post-primary education.

Among other things, they can do the following:
Continue Reading About the Visiting Teacher Service

    Following the growing trend to go paperless, libraries, lecturers and other educators make more and more reading material available online in machine-readable formats. Overall, this is a great development for various reasons. In addition to environmental advantages and convenience, there is even an integrative aspect to it: a visually impaired student is nothing special anymore as many of their sighted fellow students also like reading texts on their portable devices.

    Nonetheless, I have made the observation that there is need for communication and clarification. Not every document file is machine-readable. Many people are not aware of this and might ask: “What do you mean, you cannot read this document? But it is a PDF file.”
    Continue Reading Making Documents Available; Things to Consider for Educators

      AHEADSTART, is an interactive blended learning training course for professional staff, such as teachers, careers advisors or dedicated support staff, from AHEAD (the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability). It deals with the topic of Reasonable Accommodation for Students with a Disability in Further and Higher Education.

      Fore more information, see

        A new promotional video is available to give an overview of the DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) and HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) schemes. This may be of interest to secondary school students, teachers, guidance counsellors, parents, access practitioners and academic staff. HEAR is an Irish college and university admissions scheme which offers places at reduced points to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. DARE is a college and university admissions scheme which offers places at reduced points to school leavers with disabilities. You can watch the video on YouTube.
        Continue Reading Access routes to higher education

          The MapAbility map from the ExchangeAbility project has created an interactive map of European universities giving information about their accessibility to students with disabilities. It describes each institution’s online services, disability services, medical services, and various others, saying whether they’re accessible, through what means, whether assistance is provided for students with disabilities, etc.

          All sounds good, but when you look closely the information is a bit sparse and could definitely do with more expansion and explanation. For example, In Ireland NUIG has its Assistance Services listed as “photocopy advantages, trained assistant, voluntary helper and transport”. What does that mean in practice I wonder? For UCD, Assistance is shown as “Not Provided”, despite there being an entry for the UCD disability services which says they provide “Materials in the form of computers and software”. The whole thing leaves a lot of questions.
          Continue Reading MapAbility map shows accessibility of European Universities