Symposium on Inclusive teaching and learning in third level

UPDATED BELOW

Students with disabilities are doing very well in third level and are going on to good careers in all areas.  There are now over 3, 800 students with disabilities in  third level and this number is set to increase as every year more and more disabled students and those with specific learning disabilities are succeeding in state examinations.

Third level welcomes students with disabilities and all colleges now have well developed disability support services offering the student additional supports such as assistive technology, study support, personal assistants etc funded through the NAO fund for students with disabilities.

But, and there is always a but, it is important particularly in the current financial climate, that the main activity in college, learning in lecturers, tutorials, laboratories etc., is accessible to those non traditional students who need to learn differently and that all staff understand how to make their lectures friendly to disabled students.

Yes, it can be daunting for a professional who has hundreds of students and suddenly has to include a blind student or a deaf student in their class.  What do they do?  How do they do it?   But the positive thing to remember is that disabled students learn like all other students, and often a simple adjustment to how a lecture is delivered can make all the difference.  Where appropriate a  simple task like putting notes on line before or after the lecture can ensure the blind or deaf student can fully engage with the learning and does not loose out, what is more it is good for all students.

This symposium is about mainstream teaching and learning practices that work for all students and work equally well for students with disabilities.  From a students perspective the most important factor is the attitude of the tutors and staff, understanding of their needs and a willingness to try something different.

We invite you to a take part in this interactive day and help us to produce a charter on inclusive practice that we hope can be used across the sector to learn more about this area.

Ann Heelan

Executive Director

UPDATED: If you’re interested in attending, just email ahead AT ahead.ie. You can also see the invite here (pdf) (word)

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