June 2011

springboard logo Springboard, an innovative new government initiative which offers job seekers the option to take up a part-time course in higher education and training, free-of-charge has now been opened to people on Disability Allowance.

Following representations from AHEAD, the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn TD, has updated the eligibility to allow people previously in receipt of Disability Allowance to use that time to meet the criteria for accessing Springboard. This is a welcome development, and one we hope other labour market initiatives will also incorporate.

Springboard provides training opportunities designed to address skills gaps in areas of strong employment in the Irish economy recently identified by Forfás. We would encourage any graduates with a disability experiencing unemployment to investigate the many opportunities available throughout the higher education sector.

You can find out more about Springboard here (including eligibility criteria)

A busy week this week with the forum on school patronage. AHEAD are also delighted to see Abbott Ireland, a company that participates in the WAM Programme, featured in the Irish Times today.

AHEAD in the News: A new perspective on able

Pick of the Week: Spina Bifida: Little Miss Courage

Video of the Week: Different ways of knowing

Further & Higher Education News

Controversial third-level hiring rules amended

Colleges win battle to halt ‘Soviet-style’ cuts

Two-year online course aimed at aspiring teachers

1,400 job cuts in third-level sector

College fees can be paid in instalments

Kenny welcomes UCC link

Youth literacy project makes its mark

Charting the progress of excellence in research

Young doctor scoops medals as outlook turns golden

Cystic fibrosis breakthrough at Queen’s

Trinity breakthrough in fight against Hep C

Disability Headlines

Disability issues will be priority for new Senator

Strict low fat diet can reverse diabetes in just two months

Capitol-Area Bars, Eateries See the Sign

Website puts an end to isolation of brain injury

CNN Being Sued For Lack Of Closed-Captioning Online

Tory MPs in disability pay row

Disability services review pledged

Device allows disabled to drive with one hand

Disabled people ‘failed by police’

A computer in my head

Disabled woman sues HSE, pet store

Campbell diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

Milestone for Offaly ID association

Mental Health in the Media

President urges unity on mental health

A mother’s question: Why did Andrea come out of hospital worse than she went in?

Rise in male suicides linked to economic downturn

Winning hearts, healing minds

Young people debate issues to be raised by rights referendum

General Education Articles

VECs ‘are an inclusive option’

Teachers seek end to faith rule

No school patronage turf war, says body

Muslim parents seek greater facility for pupils to observe religious practices

Taoiseach pledges special needs support

Forum on school patronage continues

School patronage – Children are the central concern

Catholic concern over school patronage

Protest over cut in special needs assistants

From the corner shop to the classroom

Children affected by cuts deliver message

Parents to maintain protests over SNA losses

Fairness more of an issue than patronage

Cut to numbers may be revisited

Schools will not be able to appeal cuts for at least four months

No, Minister, parents are doing all they can to help out schools

Patronage forum attempts to establish ‘transparent’ process

Danger of social gap in schools

Laws stand in way of transfer of schools

Primary teachers ‘agnostic’ on issue of school patronage

Primary teachers in their 40s suffer most stress

Research finds 93% of primary principals happy in their jobs

‘Common’ schools best in transmitting civic values

Schools have to include religion classes, forum told

Something to make you smile… and yes I do recognise the irony of posting this on a online blog 🙂


“You are invited to the launch of Student voice: Two reports on the experiences of Students with Disabilities in Higher Education in Ireland.

28th June, 1pm, IIIS Seminar Room, 6th Floor (by lift), Arts Block, Trinity College Dublin.

Please use Nassau Street Entrance.

If you would like more information or directions, please contact us at getahead@ahead.ie or on 01 278 9516.”

Pick of the Week: I’m trying to work against the odds

Initiative of the week: http://wheelmap.org/


Video of the week:


Further & Higher Education

Minister for Education and Skills announces the providers of 1,000 additional PLC places as part of the Government’s Jobs Initiative

Is producing critically-minded citizens a luxury we can’t afford?

A socially enterprising university – a new model for Higher Education?

Certificate in Higher Education [Working with People with a Visual Impairment]

Is higher education prepared to deal with increasing complaints?

Some graduates in physics earning €100,000-plus

Welsh universities sent back to the drawing board on access proposals

A challenging, fresh take on a battered world


General Disability

Disability cuts: A mother’s cry for help, Mumsnet, and a media storm.

Irish athletes fly out to World Transplant Games

Stroke almost killed my grandson, Dunphy reveals

Exercise linked to reducing risk of Alzheimer’s

IFA to host a five-star display of football

Club Tropicana – providing vital social events for people with intellectual disabilities

I just want to dance, says brave Casey (5)

Discovery could fight genetic diseases

Becky can breathe again after historic lung operation

Revolutionary treatment could fulfil girl’s dream to see her mother’s face


General Education

‘Brains or breeding’ selection of pupils faces ban

Government shelves decision on mandatory Leaving Cert Irish

Rules for school entry face major reform

Minister may ban specific criteria for school admissions

Where problems lie when searching for the best education for a child

Our education is always worth a conversation

Stopped in his tracks

School defends record on special needs pupils

Today’s lesson: a school is not merely a building

School admissions


Mental Health in the Media

Increase in number of male suicide as rising unemployment linked to mental health problems

Study reveals suicide ‘cluster’ in area of Cork

SSIS project closure – Research key in tackling suicide rate

Youngsters suffering mental health issues

Get in the right frame of mind


And if you have some time over the weekend why not check out this blog post which is a round up of shows on the BBC featuring disability: Disability on the BBC this week


Conan has some encouraging words for the 2011 Dartmouth College senior class on the day of their graduation.

Visit http://teamcoco.com for more Conan.

Here is the programme for the upcoming LINK Network Conference entitled “How Do You Make Change Happen? The Only Disability in Education is the Reluctance to Change” taking place in University of Antwerp on July 5th & 6th 2011. Below you will find the schedule as well as important information on location, booking, accommodation, pre-conference dinner etc.


Please circulate this to any colleagues who you feel may be interested. Remember, final booking date is Thursday June 23rd. You can book online at www.thelinknetwork.eu


If you would like to receive this timetable in PDF format please email ahead@ahead.ie


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