Changes to the fund for students with disabilities in higher education
The assessment process for this fund has moved from the National Access Office to Higher Education Colleges and decisions about funding will from now on be made locally.
The funding allocated to the colleges is €950 per student with a disability except for students who require high cost supports, such as Irish Sign Language Interpreters, Personal Assistants and students with transport needs.
The process for accessing funding for supports remains the same
- Students must register with disability support services in the college.
- Students must produce medical verification of their disability, (a recent consultants report).
- A needs assessment will be carried out to identify the appropriate supports.
There may be less money than in the past available for colleges to fund individual supports, such as note takers. However, you may find that departments provide the student with adequate lecture notes and in some colleges fellow students are being trained as note takers.
Despite the changes to the funding of supports for students with disabilities, all higher education colleges are legally obliged under Equality Legislation, including the Equal Status Act 2000, the Disability Act 2005 and the Universities Act, to ensure the student with disability is treated equally to other students and has the same access to what is being taught, to materials, books and information generally. This means that colleges are obliged to support and reasonable accommodate the student ensuring that they do not experience any disadvantage as a result of their disability.