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Disability Support in Online Learning

The process of assessing the needs of students with disabilities and identifying appropriate supports largely looks at the overlap between the impact of disability and the demands of the course/environment. Since the pandemic, the latter has shifted significantly as we move towards online and hybrid approaches.

Facing into this reality, disability support staff, in conjunction with students and other colleagues, are creating dynamic and innovative new practices and initiatives that embrace modern technology. As we look toward a sustainable future for our students with disabilities, one that has them at the centre, now is an opportunity to share some of the innovative practices and projects that have embedded inclusion and the lessons learned which the sector needs to hold on to.

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Pre-recorded Sessions and Poster

Pre-recorded Sessions and Poster

Week 3 Pre-Record 1

  1. Personal Assistants in the Virtual World of Further Education
    Angela Fahy, Personal Assistant, Kinsale College of Further Education Gail Jones, Personal Assistant, Kinsale College of Further Education

Week 3 Pre-Record 2

  1. The Unexpected Advantages of a Global Pandemic When Losing Your Sight! Managing an Acquired Disability During Education
    Caroline Lane, Children and Young Person's Team Lead, National Council for the Blind Ireland Denis Ryan, Undergraduate Student, University of Limerick Maya Flynn, Student

Week 3 Pre-Record 3

  1. What Bookshare Can Do for You?
    Lina Kouzi, National Library Manager at the National Council for the Blind of Ireland

Week 3 Pre-Record 4

  1. Connecting Online: Webinar series for Student Success
    Gerard Gallagher, Disability Advisor, Maynooth University Aoife Mulrooney, Assistant Psychologist, National Learning Network & Maynooth University Keeva Kavanagh, Assistant Psychologist, National Learning Network & Maynooth University

Week 3 Pre-Record 5

  1. From Reasonable Adjustment to Inclusive Practice? Exploring the Influence of Lecture Capture Technology on the Academic Outcomes and Learning Experiences of Disabled Students in Higher Education
    John Harding, Head of the Disability Resource Centre, University of Cambridge

Week 3 Poster 1

  1. Returning to Work After Acquired Brain Injury: A Mixed Method Case Study
    Valerie Burke, Vocational Facilitator, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland Emer Duffy, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland

Thursday 22 April

Thursday 22 April

15.00-16.00 - Week 3 Keynote (Live and Recorded)

  1. Are We There Yet?… The Long Journey to Accessible Learning Experiences
    Dónal Rice, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, National Disability Authority Alistair McNaught, Alistair McNaught Consultancy Ltd

16.00 to 16.30 Reconnection Space (Live Only)

  1. A meeting space to join for unstructured networking and chat with other conference participants. Meet new colleagues and build your inclusive community.

Friday 23 April

Friday 23 April

14:00-15:20 - Parallel 1: Workshop (Live Only)

  1. Online Social Support Group for Autistic Students – A Pilot Project as a Response to the Restrictions of Covid-19
    Sharron Sturgess, Study Adviser for Autism and Asperger Syndrome University of Leicester UK Zyggy Banks, University of Leicester

14:00-15:20 - Parallel 2: Themed Presentations (Live and Recorded)

  1. Launchpad Online: How Student Ownership can Transform an Orientation Programme
    Simon Ahern, Educational Technology Officer, Maynooth University Martha Brandes, Outreach Officer, Maynooth University
  2. Roadmap: An Online Evidence-based and Innovative Support Tool for Students with Disabilities
    Valerie Van Hees, Coordinator of the Support Centre for Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO, Belgium) Dominique Montagnese, Support Centre for Inclusive Higher Education (SIHO, Belgium)
  3. Mental Health Awareness & Inclusion
    Carol Neenan, Active Inclusion Officer, Cork Education and Training Board (CETB)

15.30-16.30 Weekly Close and Reflection (Live Only)

  1. A facilitated dialogue on the Week 3 conference theme and a space to discuss the issues and questions raised
    Dr Marian McCarthy, Vice President Emerita Teaching and Learning, University College Cork Dr Vivian Rath, National Disabled Postgraduate Advisory Committee


The core funding received by AHEAD for its higher education activities is provided by the Higher Education Authority.

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This article appeared in the AHEAD website. Visit www.ahead.ie for more information