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


Making a DARE application

Making a DARE application is easy! It may be the first time a student or parent has to navigate this type of system, but rest assured there is help along the way and applying to DARE is just a three-step process.  

Step 1: Section A- Supplementary Information form (Deadline March 1st ) (online)

Section A has 5 questions. Questions 1-4 require basic tick the box type answers. Please read these carefully and give the correct answers. Question 5 is the only question that requires a more detailed answer as it asks for a personal statement. There is no right or wrong answer to this one and it simply allows the applicant a space to provide information regarding their experiences at school. Section A takes about 10 minutes to fill out.

Important: Section A question 1- This question asks applicants “Do you wish to be considered for DARE?”  PLEASE SELECT YES if you wish to make an application to DARE. Selecting no to this question will exclude you from the next steps of the application process. 

Step 2: Section B- Educational Impact Statement (Deadline March 15th ) (Must be posted to the CAO)

Section B of the DARE application is an Educational Impact Statement (EIS). This is filled out by your school and is a space to provide information on how your disability may have impacted you during your second level education. Section B is centred around impact indicators. Applicants must meet 2 indicators.

Indicators include:

  1.  Interaction and Supports
  2. Attendance and Disruption
  3. School experience and Well-Being
  4. Learning and Exam results
  5. Other Educational Impact
  6. Specific learning difficulty attainment scores

Applicants with a specific learning difficulty must meet indicator 6 and 1 other indicator. All other Applicants must meet 2 indicators from indicators 1-5

Important: Talk to your school early to ensure they are aware that you will be making an application. It is important to have good communication with the school or relevant school personnel with relation to the DARE application.

Step 3: Section C- Providing evidence of disability (Deadline March 15th) (Must be posted to the CAO)

As part of your DARE application you will be asked to provide evidence of your disability. This documentation must come from the appropriate professional. An applicant can submit a report or an evidence of disability form depending on the category of disability under which they are applying.

Click here to access more information regarding appropriate documentation and the appropriate professional that can provide evidence of disability.  The DARE handbook also provides a useful table with the information.

Important: It can take a while to gather this information make sure you start the process early. Again, communication is important. Ensure you have the correct documentation relevant to you. Ensure the documentation is signed and stamped and is dated correctly.


 Common Mistakes Made in DARE Applications

  1. Applicants tick no to question 1 in section A - Please tick yes if you wish to make a DARE application)
  2. Applicants do not provide the information within the correct timeframes- Please ensure Section A is filled out online by March the 1st and Section B and C are completed and posted to the CAO by March 15th (This is vital)
  3. Applicants do not provide the correct evidence of disability documentation- Please ensure that your documentation is correct you can do this by checking online here, checking the DARE handbook or by contacting a third level institution. Click here for contact details.  

 Helpful Tips When Making a DARE Application

  1. Treat the DARE application as part of your CAO application it is all connected and it is an important part of the CAO application for students.
  2. Start the process early (November is a good time to start gathering documents etc)
  3. Ask for help if necessary, all contact details are available here
  4. Write your CAO number at the top of all documents you send
  5. Get proof of postage
  6. Post information early (not at the night before the deadline!)

About the Author

Author Caoilinn Kennedy smiles to cameraCaoilinn Kennedy has been the Student Support Officer for students with disabilities at the University of Limerick for over 5 years. In this blog, Caoilinn goes through a guide to the application process as well as some insight into common mistakes and helpful tips when applying. Caoilinn will be representing UL at Better Options, AHEADs unique college fair for students with disabilities, on November 18th in Marino Institute of Education. Caoilinn will be giving a talk on DARE at 11am at Better Options and will also be answering questions on DARE along with the other participating HEIs that will have DARE reps there to discuss any queries students have.



Creating Inclusive Environments in Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

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