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AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability

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The Benefits of AHEAD Membership

As a member organisation of AHEAD, you will have access to the following benefits.

Information & Support

AHEAD provides information and support to members through our information line which is available Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 5pm. A member of staff is always available during these times to assist with any queries you have about supporting your students with disabilities. Our website is also a valuable information tool that receives a high volume of traffic. As a member you will also receive our quarterly newsletter and our monthly media monitoring report.


AHEAD has access to key decision makers in the education and disability sectors and to government departments. Members of AHEAD are consulted on all submissions to these bodies ensuring your organization is heard on a national platform. AHEAD is a member of the following committees:

  • National Access Office Advisory Group
  • Advisory Group on the Fund for Students with Disabilities
  • Department of Education & Skills Consultative Forum on the Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities

AHEAD is also a member of the Disability Federation of Ireland.


AHEAD provides tailored training on any area of inclusive teaching and learning and workplace practices to meet the needs of members. Training is designed in consultation with members and provided on location. Sessions are open to all members of staff in an institution. Upon joining, members receive a complimentary half day training session. Subsequent training is available at a reduced rate.


AHEAD is providing a growing number of eLearning professional development courses in the further and higher education sector such as AHEAD Start – our course on supporting students with disabilities. As a member of AHEAD, you will receive huge reductions for staff members undertaking these courses.


AHEAD organizes customized events for members in response to their needs. These events provide members with an ideal opportunity to network with peers and to make contacts. These networks are only open to members.


AHEAD has created a vast library of publications and resources for those working in the education, employment and disability sectors. These publications are available at a heavily reduced rate for members. AHEAD regularly collaborates with members on all new publications. A discount is available for members when purchasing publications in bulk. Research AHEAD regularly carries out research projects. Often these are in conjunction with members and arise from members needs. The expertise gained from research is shared and divested to AHEAD members to inform their work and is used to inform government policy in the area of disability,education and employment.


AHEAD organizes a national conference every March for those working in the area of education, employment and disability. With international speakers, and national experts, this conference is a highlight in the academic calendar. Members benefit from a significantly reduced fee and invitations to present. Representation As a member of AHEAD you are entitled to voting rights at our Annual General Meeting and representation on the Board of Directors. This allows you to feedback directly into the organization.

Quality Assurance

Membership of AHEAD demonstrates your organizations commitment to equity of access in education, a key component of QQI Quality Assurance Procedures. As a member you are featured on the AHEAD website.


Students and graduates with disabilities benefit from the GET AHEAD Graduate Forum which provides a space for them to come together outside of the world of academic study. In addition to organizing events specifically tailored for students, GET AHEAD also runs a number of two day career skills workshops in locations across Ireland. These events are very successful and aim to build the confidence of students and graduates with disabilities before they enter the workforce.

Willing, Able, Mentoring – The WAM Programme

WAM is a partnership of employers and other key organizations who work together to identify and tackle the barriers and challenges facing graduates with disabilities in gaining employment. WAM secures paid mentored work placements from participating employers. The mentored work placements offer real life work settings to identify the issues facing both employers and graduates in the recruitment and retention of people with disabilities. The learning from this programme is shared among our network of employers and our membership.

Membership of the LINK Network

AHEAD, as a partner organization in the LINK Network, provides members with connections to colleagues across Europe. LINK is a network of organisations co-funded by the EU Lifelong Learning Program that works in the area of disability and higher education and was established in 2008. Membership gives you unique access to the knowledge, experience and materials of other LINK members.


Simply contact ahead@ahead.ie or call +353 1 7164396 to get a quotation and a membership application form.

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Video: How we help students & Graduates Succeed