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USEFUL INFORMATION WEBSITES

   
 
www.citizensinformationboard.ie

 

The Citizens Information Board was previously known as Comhairle.This is an extremely useful site for details on entitlements…if you know where to look! 
Your best bet is to use the Search panel at the top right of the site. Check out the Publications Section where you will find the downloadable book on Entitlements for People with Disabilities 2008 and its 2009 update, a collection of factsheets on disability and carers, publications on advocacy and accessibility and more.


Face-to-face centres – for contact details, check the website:

Co. Clare: Ennis, Kilkee, Killaloe, Kilrush, Miltown Malbay, Scariff, Shannon.
Co. Limerick: Catherine St., Limerick, Newcastle West, Kilmallock, Croom, Charleville, Cappamore.
Co. Tipperary: Cahir, Carrick-on-Suir, Cashel, Clonmel, Nenagh, Roscrea, Thurles, Tipperary
Co. Galway: Ballygar, Carna, Carraroe, Cashel, Clifden, Corr na Móna, Galway, Gort, Headford, Inis Meáin, Inishmore, Inis Oirr, Inverin, Letterfrack, Lettermore, Loughrea, Oranmore, Oughterard, Portumna, Ros Muc, Tuam.
 

www.assistireland.ie

The Assist Ireland site is run by the Citizens Information Board and contains information on assistive technology and a directory of products available from Irish suppliers for people with disabilities and older people.
 

www.fsa.ie The Family Support Agency is a government agency operating under the Department of Social and Family Affairs.  Support to families is provided in the following ways:
  • "Funding 107 Family Resource Centres around Ireland
  • Supporting organisations providing Marriage, Relationship, Child and Bereavement Counselling Services
  • A Family Mediation Service for couples going through a separation or divorce
  • Research relevant to families
  • Providing information important to families, particularly in relation to parenting
  • Advising the Minister for Social and Family Affairs on family related matters"
www.scoilnet.ie

Scoilnet is the Department of Education and Science's official portal for Irish education. It is responsible for the promotion and use of the Internet in education under the Government's ICT in Schools Programme. Launched in 1998, the website is managed on behalf of the DES by the National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE).   Scoilnet is easy to use and has separate parent, student and teacher sections. The parent page features a whole section on Special Needs.
 

www.nsce.ie

The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is a statutory body established under the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act (EPSEN) 2004.  It sanctions teaching and Special Needs Assistant (SNA) resources for schools in order to support children with special educational needs. It also carries out research on the provision of Special Education. Note that the NCSE has now launched it long-awaited appeals process. However there is no independent appeals process.

Find out here about the role of the Special Education Needs Organiser, i.e. SENO (not to be confused with SNA!) as well as the name and contact details of your local SENO. Bear in mind the roll-out of the EPSEN Act has been put on hold, so keep an eye on this site for developments.

National Educational Psychology Service

The National Educational Psychology Service (NEPS) is described on this section of the Department of Education website (www.education.ie). It works in partnership with teachers, parents and children in identifying educational needs.  A range of services aimed at meeting these needs is offered, for example, supporting individual students (through consultation and assessment), special projects and research. 

NEPS for the Mid-West is located at Punches Cross, Rosbrien Road, Limerick. Tel 061 430027 and at Francis Street, Ennis, Co. Clare Tel 065 6865904. The Regional Director is Gabrielle Greene. A parent’s first point of contact often is their child’s teacher or School Principal however.

 

 www.sess.ie

The Special Education Support Service (SESS) site is a very useful one for parents although its target audience is teachers. It is essential reading for a parent involved in home schooling. The site includes a regularly updated list of training courses, Department of Education circulars as well as very useful definitions of various diagnoses that you may find in your child’s psychology report or school report, e.g. specific learning disability, specific speech and language disorder, levels of general learning disabilities and so on. Its “resources” and “documents and publications” tabs are also very useful.

www.odao.ie The Office of the Disability Appeals Officer (ODOA)  - this is a very clear site about the role of the Disability Appeals Officer, information on how to make an appeal as well as details of determinations made.
 

www.ahead.ie

AHEAD, the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability is an independent non-profit organisation working to promote full access to and participation in third level education for students with disabilities in Ireland.
 

www.accesscollege.ie
DARE - Disability Access Route to Education
The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a supplementary admissions scheme for school leavers with disabilities which operates on a reduced points basis. DARE has been established by a number of higher education institutions as clear evidence shows that disability can have a negative impact on educational attainment at school and progression to higher education.
School leavers who have the ability to benefit from and succeed in higher education but who may not be able to meet the points for their preferred course due to the impact of a disability.
 
www.ncte.ie
The National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE) was established under the auspices of the Department of Education and Science in 1998.
As the Government's agency on the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in education, it helps to maximise the benefits for learners and teachers in using ICT.
Among other things, the NCTE maintains www.scoilnet.ie (see above).  It also develops resources and provides support in relation to ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and special needs education. See their tab on Special Needs and ICT.
 
www.caraapacentre.ie
The CARA Adapted Physical Activity Centre was established In November 2007 - it is supported by the Irish Sports Council and the Institute of Technology Tralee. The main aim of the CARA APA Centre is to facilitate an increase in the number of people with disabilities participating in sport and physical activity, through increasing opportunities to participate, improving access, providing information on and organising delivering training. The site also has contact details for your local Sports Inclusion Disability Officer.
 
www.npsa.ie
 
National Parents and Siblings Alliance.
www.genio.ie
 

"GENIO is a non-profit organisation rooted in the belief that by valuing diversity both the individual and society can benefit from the unique contribution of all citizens.  Our mission is to accelerate the availability of proven, cost-effective, personalised supports, enabling people with disabilities and mental health difficulties at risk of social exclusion to lead full lives."

www.inclusionireland.ie
 

"Inclusion Ireland is a national voluntary organisation working to promote the rights of people with an intellectual disability in Ireland to ensure their full and equal participation in society. If you need any information please contact us on 01-8559891"

www.crc.ie The Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) has some useful leaflets on entitlements.
 
www.sentech.ie SENTech is the website of Ann Jackson, the National Technology and Special Needs Advisor employed by the Special Education Section of the Department of Education. "The service offers advice and information on most aspects of Assistive Technology (AT) and ICT that can be employed to support the education and learning of students with special needs in Irish schools."
 
 www.nda.ie

The National Disability Authority (NDA) is an independent agency established under the aegis of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. NDA is the lead state agency on disability issues and universal design, providing independent expert advice to the Government on policy and practice. Have a look at its Publications section and its comments on international best practice re education.
 

 www.universaldesign.ie

The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD) was established by the National Disability Authority (NDA) in January 2007 under the Disability Act 2005. The Centre is dedicated to the principle of universal access, enabling people in Ireland to participate in a society that takes account of human difference and to interact with their environment to the best of their ability. Universal Design is the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people, regardless of their age, size or disability. This includes public places in the built environment such as buildings, streets or spaces that the public have access to; products and services provided in those places; and systems that are available including information and communications technology (ICT). (Disability Act, 2005)
 

www.able.ie
The ABLE Business Excellence Award was created by Rehab and EIQA (Excellence Ireland Quality Association) - the award is a recognition of the commitment and achievements of a business as providers of services and products to customers with disabilities, and as an employer of people who have, or at some time in the future may acquire, a disability.
 
 www.gateway2at.org

This is the Gateway site: Guidance for Assistive Technology in Education and Workplace Advancing Young People with Disabilities.
 

www.ilsa.ie The Irish Learning Support Association (I.L.S.A.) formally known as Association of Remedial Teachers of Ireland (A.R.T.I.) is the fourth largest teacher organisation (after the three teacher unions) in the country. The Irish Learning Support Association is a self-help peer support group.
www.dublincil.org The Center for Independent Living (CIL) Carmichael House has supported development of 24 Centers for Independent Living around Ireland since 1992 and has facilitated a sharing space called CIL Network. Since 2008 CIL Carmichael House represents CILs nationally by lobbying and ensuring a cohesive and coordinated collective voice. 

CIL's purpose is to empower and enable people with disabilities to achieve Independent Living as a Human Right. They aim to ensure that people with disabilities can actively participate as equal citizens, with the choices, control and responsibilities that this implies through action research, support and advocacy.

www.gcil.ie is the Galway Centre for Independent Living.
www.limerickcil.com is the West Limerick Centre for Independent Living.
www.dpoc.ie is the Clare CIL managed by Disabled People of Clare (DPOC)
www.tippcil.tk is the Tipperary CIL, based in Thurles and Clonmel.
 
www.disability-federation.ie
Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) is the national support organisation and advocate for voluntary disability organisations in Ireland who provide services to people with disabilities and disabling conditions.
 
www.fedvol.ie
The National Federation of Voluntary Bodies Providing Services to People with Intellectual Disability is a national umbrella organisation for voluntary/non-statutory agencies who provide direct services to people with intellectual disability in Ireland.  There are  62 Member Organisations which provide services to 22,000 people with intellectual disability and their families in the Republic of Ireland and employ 15,500 staff in a wide range of roles.  
 
www.disabilityaction.org
Disability Action is a Northen Ireland pan-disability organisation.  It represents 180 member groups and "works to ensure that people with disabilities attain their full rights as citizens, by supporting inclusion, influencing Government policy and changing attitudes in partnership with disabled people."
 
www.ihrc.ie
The protection and promotion of human rights is the core value of the Irish Human Rights Commission. In pursuit of this commitment, the Commission works to ensure the protection of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights in recognition of the universal, indivisible, interdependent and inter-related nature of all human rights.
 
www.newb.ie The National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) was established in 2002 under the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and has a statutory function to ensure that every child either attends a school or otherwise receives an education. The Board also has responsibility for children who are being educated outside of schools (e.g. at home) and 16-17 year olds who leave school to take up employment. You must register your child with the NEWB if you are proposing to home school.   Click on "Your Guide to Home Education" button or choose the "Parent/Guardian" section for more information. Their links section is particularly comprehensive..
 
www.ncca.ie The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) has been in existence for nearly 30 years and was established on a statutory basis in 2001. Their mission is to advise the Minister for Education and Science on curriculum and assessment for early childhood education and for primary and post-primary schools.
Click on the" Information for Parents" as well as "Inclusion" tabs for more information. There are good multi-lingual guides for understanding standard scores and STen scores.
 
www.dcu.ie/ctyi The Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland is based at Dublin City University (DCU). "CTY Ireland aims to allow all talented students to reach their potential both academically and socially by providing relevant and interesting challenges based on ability and interest rather than age. CTY Ireland was established at Dublin City University in 1992 to meet the needs of high ability students aged 6 to 17 years from Ireland and abroad. Since the first summer programme in 1993 over 35,000 students have attended or participated in programmes run by CTY Ireland. "
 
www.scotens.org SCoTENS - the Standing Conference on Teacher Education, North and South was founded in 2003 and brings together 38 colleges of education, university education departments, teaching councils, curriculum councils, education trade unions and education centres on the island of Ireland with a responsibility for and interest in teacher education. It has been involved in supporting over 50 research, conference and exchange projects including Special Educational Needs. The SCoTENS secretariat is provided by the Centre for Cross Border Studies in Armagh.