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


Your Disability or Access Service

If you have a disability, a specific learning difficulty or a mental health difficulty, you should register with the Disability or Access Service in your college. In small colleges this may be just one person with designated responsibility for disability so if you are unsure, ask at the main college reception. You can register with the Disability / Access Service at any time throughout your college life but we recommend that you register as early as possible so that the appropriate supports that you may need, are put in place. The service is confidential and you can use the service as little or as often as you like.

When you register with the Disability / Access Services, you will be assigned an officer who will arrange to meet with you. This meeting will be to discuss your background, the demands of your course and exploring various forms of support which you may need such as;

  • Extra time in exams
  • Assistive technology
  • Spelling & grammar waiver
  • Copies of lecturer's notes in advance
  • Irish Sign Language interpreter

You can see a full list of additional supports that may be available to you, by clicking here. You may have to provide evidence/written confirmation of your disability from a recognised practitioner (specialist consultant, a letter from your GP will not suffice) so that your college can make an application to the Fund for Students with Disabilities to provide you with the supports you may need.

Click the questions below to have more information drop down.

How Do I Register?

Simply contact the Disability/Access Officer and tell them you wish to register. They'll tell you what you need to do but in most circumstances you'll need to provide them with relevant medical documentation verifying your disability or specific learning difficulty. When you are fully registered they will organise a meeting to discuss your educational needs with you and see what needs to be put in place.

Why Should I Tell the College About My Disability?

While there is no obligation on a student to disclose their disability, there are enormous benefits to disclosing your disability. Under government legislation, colleges are obliged to make support and accommodate students with disabilities. Once a student discloses their disability to the Disability/Access Office, they can then take steps to arrange supports like the ones mentioned above for them. If a student chooses not to disclose, then the college is not obliged to put supports in place. It is important to realise that all personal or sensitive information about a student is confidential and will only be shared with relevant college staff on a need to know only basis.

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Creating Inclusive Environments in Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

East Hall, UCD, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
T +353 1 592 1467 E ahead@ahead.ie W www.ahead.ie RCN 20025182