Navigating Beyond the Horizon: International Mobility, Work Based Learning and Social Engagement
"Careers advice needs to be inclusive as well as further opportunities for relevant placements suitable for those with disabilities."
- Student Quote – AHEAD Learning from Home 2021 Research Participant
A positive and successful tertiary education experience is not solely the result of in classroom education design. For learners to feel a sense of belonging and feel connected to the full educational experience, all learners must have equal access to learning opportunities beyond the classroom. This includes, for example, access to work-based learning and work placements, participation in study abroad programmes and clear avenues for social engagement to foster a sense of belonging among students, an important element in student success and retention.
Students with disabilities for example, continue to face barriers in all of these areas. This hinders their ability to benefit from the variety of educational opportunities that exist within tertiary education.
This conference theme explores the importance of the availability of opportunities beyond the classroom for all learners, identifying and highlighting work being done to enhance inclusive practices in this area.
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Creating Inclusive Conditions to Learn, Work, or Volunteer Abroad (Live Only)
- Lorraine Gallagher, Information and Training Officer, AHEAD
Lorraine Gallagher Information and Training Officer, AHEAD
Lorraine Gallagher has a Masters in Fine Art. She has worked in the area of disability equality for many years and is currently the Information & Training Officer for AHEAD. Prior to working for AHEAD Lorraine worked as research assistant and co-facilitator to Peter Kearns at The Workhouse. She also worked as the disability equality trainer on Music Map, a music management course run by the City Arts Centre.
Hannah Kelly Student and Graduate Engagement Officer, AHEAD
Hannah (she/her) is the Student and Graduate Engagement Officer in AHEAD. Her role involves working to include the student voice in the work of AHEAD and creating inclusive environments for disabled students in extracurricular settings. As part of her role, she was the co-founder and now coordinator of the USI/AHEAD Students with Disabilities Advisory group. This group helps to inform the strategy and policy of AHEAD and USI concerning the inclusion of students with disabilities in HE and FE. Outside of her work with AHEAD, Hannah is a volunteer with Dublin Lesbian Line and is a public speaker, particularly in the areas of intersectionality and inclusion.
Trinity Employability: Disability Inclusion Pathway
- Eithne Coleman, Trinity College Dublin
Eithne Coleman Trinity College Dublin
Eithne is an Occupational Therapist and Disability Officer with the Trinity Disability Service. Eithne graduated with a B.Sc. in Occupational Therapy from York St. John University in the U.K. in 2017 and has since worked in a range of healthcare settings to include complex inpatient Eating Disorders (mental health), and disability support in Higher Education (UCD & TCD).
Having first-hand experience of disability support in HEIs, Eithne has particular interest in the OT supports of students with ASD and has further continued her studies in this area since graduation, completing Sensory Integration modules 1 and 2 with Ulster University (2018-2019), and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule - 2 (ADOS-2) training (an instrument used to support the diagnosis and assessment of autism) with the Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin (2019). Eithne hopes to bring this experience into her everyday work with students with a wide variety of occupational needs. Of recent, Eithne has focused her work on the area of transition to employment for students with disabilities and has lead the Disability Inclusion Programme in collaboration with Trinity Careers Service.
Eithne is a member of the AOTI (Association of Occupational Therapists in Ireland) and is registered with CORU, the regulatory body for health and social care professionals.
Game On; Designing inclusive curriculum using gaming and esports to promote health and wellbeing and develop pathways to work
- Sinead Hosey, Epic Global â esports and gaming agency
Sinead Hosey Epic Global – esports and gaming agency
Sinead has worked across Tech industry for over 16 years helping brands from Vodafone to Huawei grow in the Consumer space. She set up Epic Global with co-founder Trev Keane, to help brands, rightsholders and athletes navigate the world of esports and gaming. Clients include Jesse Lingard, Munster Rugby Gaming and now Rehab Group.
Anne Marie McDonnell National Learning Network
Anne Marie McDonnell is Head of Service Design with Rehab Group. She is a qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with over 20 years’ experience in delivery and management of inclusive training and employment services. She also worked as a consultant in MENA on the introduction of Disability Inclusive Public Employment Services.
Ready, Steady, Work Career Programme for Disabled Students
- Laura Coleman, MTU
Laura Coleman MTU
Laura Coleman has worked as MTU Cork Disability Officer for 12 years and manages a dedicated team of staff in the DSS. Laura is a member of the board of directors of AHEAD and numerous groups for DARE. Laura is currently studying the MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and has an BA Hons Degree in Applied Social Studies in Social Care.
Olga Mitchell Careers Service MTU Cork
Olga Mitchell is a Career Advisor with the Careers Service in MTU Cork. Olga works to support students to reflect on and develop their career pathway and set self-directed goals with intention. She is invested in supporting all abilities in recognising the amazing strength diversity offers any organisation. Olga holds an MA in Applied Psychology and a Professional Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy, among other qualifications in science and engineering.
Dream To Drive – A Technology Enhanced Learning Experience in Driver Safety
- Damien Allard, National Learning Network (Mullingar Centre)
Damien Allard National Learning Network (Mullingar Centre)
Damien has 20 years’ experience in training & delivery in both the Public and Private sectors with particular focus on training unemployed people and people with a disability. He is a firm believer in learning through Gamification and engaging students in their learning world. He currently delivers and manages a highly successful programme for 18 – 25 tear olds called Skills for Life and incorporates the gaming and Digital Media world into his training. This Skills for Life programme in Mullingar was created and developed by Damien and has now gone Nationwide across various National Learning Centres throughout Ireland.
Ronan Fox National Learning Network (Mullingar Centre)
Ronan has vast experience in training delivery, digital media, digital marketing, music production and podcast production. He is also a qualified digital marketer. Ronan has a particular interest in the Irish gaming industry and streams and creates content for a highly successful gaming company called Legion Arena. Ronan has been teaching young people how to pursue a career in digital media for several years. He now delivers and manages an innovative programme for young adults between the age of 17 to 25 called Skills Bridge which supports young people with disabilities to gain independent living skills with a fun person-centred approach using of digital media.
Disabled Student Voices on Professional Placement
- Barbara Waters, Journal Editor, AHEAD
Barbara Waters Journal Editor, AHEAD
Barbara Waters is the Project Lead on the Reasonable Accommodations, Professional Placements (RAPP) Project, Barbara was Chief Executive of Skill: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities, UK. 1996- 2010. Barbara represented Skill nationally on policy issues in education and disability related to post 16 education, training and employment. Since 2010 Barbara has worked as a researcher on further and higher education and disability. She was part of the LINK European network concerned with disabled students in higher education and has undertaken research on competence standards and learning outcomes in higher education for the Equality Challenge Unit, UK, published in 2015, looking particularly at Nursing, Teaching, Foreign Languages and STEM subjects. She was the evaluator of the Erasmus + programme on Universal Design for Learning completed in October 2016, and rapporteur for AHEAD Ireland in the MappED access programme with the Erasmus Student Network in 2017. Currently, she is the editor of the peer to peer Journal for AHEAD Ireland. She has an MA in Business and Public Sector Strategy and received an honorary doctorate from the Open University, UK.
Dr Vivian Rath Trinity College Dublin
Vivian completed his Ph.D in Trinity College Dublin on the social engagement experiences of disabled students in higher education in Ireland. Prior to that he obtained a master’s in management from UCD Smurfit Business School where he researched the employment of graduates with disabilities. He is a member of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Disability Advisory Committee and acted as rapporteur for the IHREC reasonable accommodation in practice conference. He is an appointee to the National Disability Stakeholders Group. Vivian has worked in higher education for over ten years and is an adjunct teaching fellow in Trinity College Dublin where he lectures on disability and human rights. He received a TCD Equality Champion Award for his work promoting equality and diversity with the institution. He has extensive experience of empowering disabled people to access their right to education and employment opportunities.