Staff Picks:

Anger, despair and a ray of hope for those living with Parkinson’s Disease

Follow: A play at the Absolut Fringe Festival

RTE Player:

Road to Rehab – Documentary on the National Rehab Hospital

Behind the Walls – Documentary – Part 1


Higher & Further Education News & Views

Most Irish universities fall further in world ranking

Teaching students the joy of giving something back

UCC becomes Ireland’s first ‘five-star’ university

Radical overhaul of third-level admissions proposed

The case to better align students with college courses is compelling

Mandatory student community service ‘would address crisis in care for elderly’

University Plans to make its students model graduates

University places could be decided by lottery

Hyland gives poor grades to colleges and points race

CAO system could be changed by 2014


Disability Headlines

Female cystic fibrosis sufferers still dying younger than males

Places sought for autistic children after school closure

Dáil protest planned over special needs cuts

Breaking point: Mother battles to get help for son

Why a sports tie-up is worth its weight in gold

Tom Lewis: ‘If golf doesn’t turn out to be my life, I’m going to struggle’

The Ouch Blog News Round up


General Education Stories

Concern over voluntary contributions

All-inclusive schools group will meet parents

Lack of full-time places for 9 pupils ‘unacceptable’

Make grammar fun and kids will get it says new research


Mental Health in the Media

Revealing the horrific past of psychiatric hospitals

Suicide awareness: ‘You’d have thought everything was going well, but it wasn’t’

HSE accused of ‘bullying’ psychiatrist

Children ‘should be’ screened for anxiety

Suicide ignored by governments, warns charity

Retiring coroner queries publishing of suicide cases

HSE cuts number of psychiatrists in Galway

Involuntary detentions campaign


Employment Features

60 days, 60-job shadows

Employers catch out majority of CV liars – Survey

Labour Market Information, August 2011

Guinness is good for them: €650,00 for social projects

Department Removes Intern Offers from Jobbridge website



Career Zoo, Sept 10th & Sept 11th

This is a fantastic opportunity for 30 students and graduates with disabilities. Please email to reserve a place. 

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!

Careers Fair time has rolled around again! All my advice from last year remains – if you’re planning on going to any of the careers fairs, do have a read, do your preparation work.

This year I’ll be in UCD on the 8th October, CIT on the 6th October, and at the GradIreland Fair in the RDS on the 21st October. There may be more yet, and I’ll keep you updated if so. GradIreland has a comprehensive list of all the fairs on around the country here

I’ll also be running a seminar at the GradIreland Fair at about half 3. In it I’ll be aiming to briefly cover many of the elements in the Get Ready for Workshops, so if you’re at the fair on the 21st,  do drop by.

As always – for more updates, keep an eye on our facebook page

Survey on access to leisure for all

Enable Ireland is asking people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities to take part in an online survey on their experiences of social and leisure activities. In 2008, research for the organisation showed that two out of three people with a disability found it difficult to access any form of social or leisure activity.

The survey is available online here. Results will be released in advance of Action Week on Disability, which will take place from 14th-19th September 2009.

Careers Fairs are kicking off soon. To get you ready check out this:

For more information go to their website

Presentations and public speaking

One of my favourite bloggers, Rowan Manahan, has finally put all the presentation stuff he talks about and all his useful tips and so on into a separate blog: You can find it here. Many people have a horror of public speaking and presenting, and this is a really good way to learn more about it.

A different approach to job seeking

One person is trying twitter and facebook and linkedin, and a website, to see if it helps him get a job. Check out his site here. Either way, you can’t say he isn’t trying!

Following on in the same line as previous posts on careers fairs – I’ve talked about how to make the most of them, but what if they’re not an environment that suits you? I know that for some people Careers Fairs aren’t ideal – me I could never hear a word someone said – but there’s nearly always some use in going. All the tips still apply – you are there to get information and there is plenty to be had, verbally or on paper. Plan your day and make the most of it.

I’m at the GradIreland fair tomorrow and one thing I’ll certainly be trying to do is come up with constructive advice/ opinions I can pass on to the organisers of ways to make them more friendly to people with disabilities. I’ll write them up and I’d welcome comments.

If you’re there tomorrow by the way, please drop over and say hello!

It’s very easy to go to a careers fair, pick up a lot of paper, some nice pens (anyone heard the RaboDirect ad “oh I do like a nice pen”? – love that ad 🙂 ) But how does that help you in your job search?  Careers Fairs can be really useful events – for you and the employer.

So here’s some tips on how to make the best of your time if you are attending as a jobseeker: (GradIreland also have a very good article on this here)

A careers fair is an excellent opportunity to do a lot of the background research, to make an impression on someone who matters, to figure out whether this is really a company for you. You can find out what vacancies there are, how to apply, even discuss the application procedure in detail (maybe pick up some key buzz words for that company). You can find out names of HR people, which means you can address your letters, or phone up and look for the right person. You can find out what the company is currently working on – major projects/ developments, which will make your application or interview sound more knowledgeable. You can find out what they’d offer you in terms of training, support etc. Just don’t ask ” what have you got for me?” – maybe ask, if I was working for you, what training would I get, what would you expect from me?

If you’re serious about using a careers fair to make contact with companies in your area, or to do research about the opportunities available to you, be prepared to make a good impression. Many companies do send their HR people & managers to run the stands, do be aware that they can be the one you’ll meet if you go to interview. Dress smart. Take notes. Have some key questions ready. Use the time wisely.

Some of the tips I’ve gotten from employers include

  • Don’t go up to the company asking what they do in a general sense – most fairs have a book given out at the entrance that describes the basics about the exhibitors.  In fact, a lot of fairs will list exhibitors beforehand on their websites, you can use this to prioritise some companies and prepare for talking to them.
  • Do be aware that you may not get as much time as you would like with an employer. There may be many students there waiting for you to finish, or you may have to wait to talk to the employer you want.
  • Do be careful about what you say or more importantly how you say it, i.e, Don’t make it about you – no “what can you do for me”
  • Do treat it seriously. If an employer thinks you’re only there for the free stuff, they’re not going to take you seriously.
  • Don’t give out your CV all the time – a targetted CV, tailored for that company is always better. Ask where you can send it instead (noting the details) and use the time to talk to the employer so that what you send in is better. Also, some company’s will not accept CVs on the day.

So there’s some things to think about and into careers month we go!

(edited to take in some extra feedback)