Firstly, congratulations to everyone who recieved results today! No matter how it went, it’s done, you’ll never be in exactly this position again! With luck this is how you’re feeling


people jumping in the air

We published some information over on our website but there’s lots out there and I just wanted to share some of those links with you all.

Brian Mooney has a good round up of what’s next here

All the helpline numbers are here on the qualifax website has  a great round up of articles and advice

And has lots of advice on how to cope with it all!

The all important site next week is (first round offers are out on the 22nd August)

So for now, I’ll sign off, but we’ll keep updating our information, and if there’s any advice we can offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us

Happy new year everyone! January is always a quiet month for me as I plan the forthcoming year and settle back into work. Anyway, part of the planning involves meetings and I recently had one with my boss where we were trying to pull together another funding proposal and a proposal for a presentation at this conference

And halfway through the meeting, as I was mid rant I realised that I still hadn’t bought a recorder of some kind. Honestly, I talk far better than I write. When prepping for some public speech I rehearse aloud/ in my head, and jot down the key points that make me remember the thread that the whole thing hangs on. But finding that line is always in conversation, always verbal rather than written. Right now, I’m talking in my head as I write this post. Anyway, the point is that I come up with my best ideas, and more importantly the logic and convincing rationale for them, when I’m talking. Not when I’m writing, not when I’m alone. So I need a recorder that I can talk into. And a space where I can talk. Because that’s the other problem. I need someone to listen, or the room to not mind me talking. So – when and how I work best. By talking and being listened to or alone (oddly enough my colleagues find it hard to work when I’m walking around the room needing to be listened to or talking to myself.  Or at least it would be unfair to ask them to compromise their way of working, – – they’re great, by the way, this isn’t a complaint – compromises and balance of different needs will have to be a whole other post)

Knowing how you work best is valuable. Next time I have to come up with an idea, a proposal, an argument to convince, to change (a large chunk of my job) I’ll be talking not writing – 2 quick, face to face, meetings were far more effective than hours spent staring at the screen drafting things I’d later scrap. In those circumstances, verbalising is far more effective for me. Obviously, in different circumstances, trying to do something different, or in a different job, it might not work for me. The point is, I’ve figured out a tool, a method that makes it easier for me to do my job, and helps me do my job better.

Working with, talking to, other people with disabilities, I’m always saying you need to know what you need to make you able to do your job – what assistive technology, what transport, what breaks, what supports, because of your disability. The point I’m trying to make, is that figuring all that out is about trying to figure out how you do your job easily and best. An accommodation is there to help you do your job – getting that accommodation is good for you and for your job. And that applies to everyone, disabled or not. The likelihood of needing an accommodation, a different way of doing things increases if you have a disability, but the end point is the same – you need certain things to do your job and to do it well.

So, figure out what you need to work well – regardless of why you need it, figure it out.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to buy a recorder.

… was a great success! I’m very happy with how the event went and loved the Science Gallery as a venue. If you’ve just stopped by here today for the first time, hello and thank you!

I’m off to the ERA campaign conference today, so notes from last night won’t go up until tonight/ tomorrow, but please do feel free to leave any feedback or further comments from last night below, and do come back and let me know if I’ve summarised the discussion properly!

If you’re interested in a copy of the publication (“Demystifying Disability in the Workplace”) that was launched last night by the very entertaining Senator David Norris, please drop me an email at getahead AT with your contact details.

This evening, in the Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin, from 6pm, we have an event that I’ve been organising and one which is a little different for us, being much shorter than our regular conferences and as an evening event, will hopefully suit some more people. I’m looking forward to seeing how the format unfolds, to using the Science Gallery as a venue and most importantly, to what we’re actually doing and seeing how it’s received.

The point of the event is twofold. We want to launch WAM’s new publication, “Demystifying Disability in the Workplace”, which Senator David Norris has kindly agreed to do. And, we want to use the time to discuss one of the more confusing elements of disability in the workplace – reasonable accommodations.

The publication is born out of WAM’s experiences over the last 4 years, and it’s been informed by what managers and employers have told us, by what we’ve learnt from them and from graduates in the workplace. The primary motivation for the booklet is to provided practical guidelines for organisations on tackling everyday issues that arise in the recruitment and management of people with disabilities. It is in tended as an instrument for managers, supervisors and related personnel.  We hope that sharing that learning will mean that the same situations don’t keep coming up time and time again, so that we can progress in our ultimate aim, which is to see more and more people with disabilities having full access to and participation in an inclusive workforce.

The evening kicks off at 6, there’ll be refreshments available, and we’ll be done by 7:30 at the latest (but you can stay a little longer too!) If you want to come and can’t stay, do drop in, say hello and pick up a copy of the book. There’s not much point in writing about demystifying disability in the workplace, and having the book only sitting in our workplace! Either way, we’d love to see you.

Dear Students with AD/HD,

A new student support group has been organised for AD/HD college students. Assistance was provided from other sources; however, the group was created largely by AD/HD students for AD/HD students.
The group will meet for the first time on the 26th October 2009, up stairs in Doyle’s Pub on College Street, Dublin 2, at 7pm. Future meetings will be held on the last Monday of every month at the same time and location.

Developing awareness and understanding of AD/HD and it’s implications as a student and beyond, is key to managing AD/HD effectively. This is achieved by learning about the condition, and also socialising with other student who face the same challenges.

Group meetings will be informal events. Participation, and/ or involvement, in the organising of meeting and running of the group, is up to the members. Topics, issues, format, set up, etc… is flexible; we would like everyone to get involved in different aspects of the group. Input from everyone is welcome, but not required.

We will also have a bit of fun along the way! 🙂
We look forward to seeing you there,

Kate and Stiofan

Myself and John Paul from WAM will be at the Graduate Careers Fair in the RDS all day tomorrow. It starts at 11 and runs till 5 and you can check out their site here

More importantly, at 3:30 I’ll be giving a short seminar which will cover all the extra aspects of jobseeking that are useful for graduates and students with disabilities to know: disclosure, grants and funding, legislation and the availability of other projects and supports. It’s the ideal time to get an overview of things that you should consider if you are a graduate with a disability, or for that matter, someone who is supporting/ advising a graduate with a disability. All the matierial is taken from Get Ready for Work, so it really is an overview of the extra stuff – I won’t be going near CVs, interview skills, what job you should do, or anything like that, because that’s all covered by others whose speciality it is. For more information about the timetable of seminars you can check here.

Obviously, we’ll be at the stand all day to answer any questions and would be very happy to see you, but I would encourage you to drop along to the seminar, it’s just a half an hour and could answer many of your questions in a more useful way.

As I’ve said before, events like this are what you make of them, and I’ve outlined some suggestions here, and so have GradIreland, here.

If you’re there tomorrow, do drop by, and do enjoy the day. Opportunities can be exciting and challenging, and that can be something to relish and enjoy!

Right now I’m at the second of 3 Get Ready for Work seminars we’re running this year (in UL, DIT & NUIG – huge thanks to all the staff in those colleges and all the members of GCI/ Graduate Careers Ireland) and I thought it might be good to explain a little more about the background and the point of these workshops.

The first Get Ready for Work seminar was run 2 years ago in NCI over 4 days and the point was to try and ensure that students with disabilities were as well prepared as possible for interview and the labour market. It had been and still is our experience that students with disabilities often encounter difficulties in getting work. Not always, but often. The work GET AHEAD does has a couple of strands to it and this is just one element. Right now Get Ready for Work is a 2 day session focussed on giving people extra preparation, and yes, extra advantage. It’s a way of counteracting some of the disadvantages (lack of work experience, bias or prejudice in interview, lack of specific information or support) that disabled people still incur (not the only way, but one. And no, I’m not accepting that disadvantage as a given, rather, I’m trying to challenge it in several different ways and this is one) In short, the better prepared a person is, the better an interview will go, the better an interview goes, the less impact any bias or prejudice can have. Preparation is key.

Extra careers support when you’re finished college can be expensive, although there are some opportunities available to access free support – this is another! So what we do is a day of careers skills training – career planning, career management, career development offered by members of the GCI (Graduate Careers Ireland) And on day 2 I talk about all the rights disabled people have in law, in terms of supports, grants, entitlements. I also talk about the issue of disclosure. In the afternoon, there’s a chance to talk to a careers advisor about your CV and to have a mock interview, with an employer and get feedback on your performance on that interview. It’s rare that people spend 2 whole days on their career development, even though work, careers, are a huge part of our lives. I continuously evaluate this program and every bit of feedback counts. Whether it will always be a program that people want or need is debatable but for now, it will continue to be a part of our work.