AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.


Applications Now Open (deadline extended) to Join AHEAD/USI Disabled Student Advisory Group

Click here to submit your application

AHEAD and USI are looking for students/learners to apply to be a member of our Students with Disabilities Advisory Group. 

The purpose of the group is to inform the strategy and policy of AHEAD and USI regarding the inclusion of students with disabilities in Higher and Further Education. The group will feed a strong disabled student voice into FET and HE policy by: 

  • Raising issues experienced by students with disabilities on the ground for discussion which may need to be addressed through the work of AHEAD and USI
  •  Highlighting areas of good work in inclusive practice on the ground being achieved by student bodies or institutions for spotlighting and sharing
  • Providing feedback, comment and advice as requested on the work of AHEAD and USI and direction on shared pieces of work (e.g. the annual Disabled Student’s Forum event).
  • Sharing related AHEAD/USI work through their own local networks.

Role of A Group Member

The initial term time for a group member is 1 year. The group is expected to meet 4-5 times per year and meetings should last approximately 2 hours. Members may be asked to contribute outside of meetings in other ways via email, both individually or as a group. 

The types of engagement outside of the meetings could include: 

  • Feedback/comment on a document or proposal
  • Request for issues to be identified and raised regarding a particular area e.g. inclusion on Erasmus study abroad programmes, access to postgraduate courses etc.
  • Request to share a related AHEAD and/or USI event or piece of work through local networks
  • Request to feed in to a strategy document for AHEAD or USI
  • Request for members to volunteer for a working group on a specific piece of related work


Who can/should Apply

Applications for this voluntary opportunity are open to students/SU Officers with disabilities currently enrolled in higher or further education and training (e.g. PLC) courses/programmes.

Interested parties should have a strong passion for  advocating for a more inclusive education system for people with disabilities and/or be involved in advocacy or student politics/disabled student societies. 

Please note in selecting the makeup this group, AHEAD/USI will seek to ensure as much as possible that the group reflects the diversity of Ireland's tertiary education system.


Why Get Involved?

By getting involved, you can help shape the national conversation about inclusion and universal design for learning in further and higher education. This is also an opportunity to meet like minded individuals and form a community of disabled students.  Furthermore, being a part of the group looks great on a CV and members will be compensated fairly. 


How to Apply

You can apply by completing this online application form by 27th October 2023. To complete this application you will need to prepare and have handy:

  • Simple answers on your role as a disabled student including: education institute, disability type, student demographics, etc.

  • 100-300 written words (or an audio or video submission sent to erica.meslin@ahead.ie) on why you want to be a member of the Students with Disabilities Advisory Group and what you think you can contribute. Some of the reasons you could give us might involve why you are interested in the inclusion of students with disabilities and what your strengths are that would make you a good member of the group.



  • 27th October – deadline for applications

  • 30 October – notification of success

  • Mid November – 1st meeting of the group

Click here to go to Application Form

If you have any questions or queries, please contact Erica at erica.meslin@ahead.ie or James at equality@usi.ie


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Creating Inclusive Environments in Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

East Hall, UCD, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
T +353 1 592 1467 E ahead@ahead.ie W www.ahead.ie RCN 20025182