Work Placement Opportunities


Now available for

Graduates with Disabilities/Specific Learning Difficulties

If you are a graduate with a disability/specific learning difficulty seeking valuable work experience, the AHEAD WAM Programme, which offers a six month, paid, mentored work placement may be the opportunity you have been waiting for.

Applications are now being sought for a wide variety of positions across the Civil Service.  

Please see the application form for a full list of roles available. The application form and further information are available from our website at

Candidates interested in applying will need to complete a WAM application form and return it along with an up-to-date CV to

For queries, please contact WAM directly by email at or by telephone on 01 278 9325.

The Closing Date for Applications is 5pm, Friday 24th February 2012  

working to include, including for work

The AHEAD WAM Programme 2012


Are you interested in a paid, mentored work placement?

Are you a final year student or graduate with a disability?

Then register today for the AHEAD WAM Programme.

To register, please follow these steps:

  1. Go to & provide the required information;
  2. You will then receive notifications of WAM work placement opportunities, as they arise, via email.




 Do you have a disability or health issue?

     Are you ready for work?

EmployAbility Service is a free, confidential service, supported by FAS.

We provide a service to individuals with a disability / health issue / acquired injury / mental health difficulty, to gain and sustain paid mainstream employment.

The EmployAbility Jobseeking Fair 2011 is aimed at providing job seekers (both graduates and non-graduates) with professional advice and information on all aspects of sourcing and securing suitable employment.

Venue:        Wood Quay Venue. At rear of Dublin City Council Civic Offices, Dublin 8

Date:          Thursday 22nd September 2011

Time:          10am – 2pm

Speakers and Information Stands Providing:

  • Practical advice on job seeking
  • Talks from employers giving information, CV advice and tips on looking and applying for jobs
  • Information from Social Welfare; FAS; Citizens Information; VolunteeringIrelandand the Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed
  • An opportunity to meet with job coaches for one to one advice and information on accessing the service

Our goal is to work side by side with you to help you on your journey towards suitable employment.


To book a place at the seminars CV & Interview Preparation and  Social Welfare Entitlements & Return to Employment, please email or call 01 460 3081

Alternately, please feel free to drop by for general information & advice throughout the day 10am – 2pm.



Work Placement Opportunities for Graduates with Disabilities/Specific Learning Difficulties

If you are a graduate with a disability/specific learning difficulty seeking valuable work experience, the AHEAD WAM (Willing Able Mentoring) Programme, which offers a six month, paid, mentored work placement, may be the opportunity you have been waiting for.

Applications are currently being sought for the following roles available with IBM Ireland, based in Dublin.


  1. Software Development Engineer
  2. Software Test Engineer
  3. Software Technical Support Engineer

Candidates interested in making an application will need to complete a WAM Application form and return it along with an up-to-date CV to AHEAD.

Application forms and further information are available from our website at


 The Closing Date for receipt of applications is 5pm, Friday 19th August 2011.   

 Alternatively you can contact WAM directly by email: or Tel. 01-2789325.

Working to include, including for work | WAM is a FÁS Funded Programme

AHEAD in the News: Call for intern scheme to include those with disabilities



Pick of the week: Young solicitors optimistic about future prospects despite chill winds of recession


Further & Higher Education News

New DIT campus gets go-ahead from council

WIT thanks ex-president after he declines offer of alternative post

Third-level fees cannot be ruled out, says Quinn

Third level faces €500m shortfall, HEA warns

New further education and training authority, SOLAS, launched by Minister Quinn- Government agrees to wind down FÁS

New State training agency established to replace Fás

Quinn hints at higher points for science

Agency’s leadership key to modern and flexible system

No budget set for ‘new FAS’ as management to stay on

Third level funding report due


Disability Headlines

Woman settles for €2.5m over disability

Long Stay Charges Increased

Access all beach areas

Minister opens treatment centre for blood disorders

Asthma deaths down by 40pc

Teen with cerebral palsy gets €3.75m settlement

Doctor reveals intimidation and abuse of scientists researching ME causes

School closure creates problems for parents


General Education Articles

‘It’s not fair and it’s not right. All I want for my son is what any mother wants’

Will Quinn impose sanctions to stop ‘apartheid’ in schools?

Court backs ‘old boy’ admissions policy at school

State to regulate school enrolment

Rule favoured boys whose fathers were past pupils

Oireachtas ‘should look’ at positive discrimination


Mental Health in the Media

Overhaul of Mental Health Act 2001 now urgently required

My son may be thinking of suicide

Depression surge in rich suburbs over cash worries

42% of psychiatric patients in hospital for over a year, survey finds

Treating depression – A positive suggestion

Google directing certain searches to Samaritans

Rise in self-harm linked to recession and alcohol abuse


Employment Issues

When the lines are blurred between work and play


Many of you will remember an open letter on this blog from our Director, Ann Heelan with regard the recent Springboard Initiative and its exclusion of people in receipt of Disability Allowance. As a result of the lobbying done by AHEAD, change happened – as documented here.

However, joined up thinking is certainly not an approach which seems to be enjoyed by the current crop as similar issues have arisen with the new Jobbridge scheme.

On the 25th June 2011, our Director wrote to the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton on the issue. Extracts from the letter are posted below for your information. We would encourage everyone who disagrees with this exclusion to write to the Minister to outline the problems with Jobbridge.

The wonderful and always articulate Maman Poulet has also posted an interesting analysis entitled “Jobs Initiative – will it work and how it’s unattainable for some” and more recently a query around the general idealogy of the Jobbridge scheme: Jobbridge and free Labour


“The new Jobbridge scheme looks brilliant and should prove an excellent initiative to engage unemployed people with the workplace and benefit employers.

But, unfortunately this innovative scheme appears to be closed to unemployed people on disability allowance.  There seems to be an assumption underpinning the scheme that people on disability allowance are not fit to work 30 hours per week and could not be job seekers.  Yet this assumption is simply not true.  People with disability are on DA for historic reasons and many can work, want to work, are frustrated with the jobs market and lack of opportunity.  In fact the scheme itself entitles people on DA to engage with education, training and employment opportunities.

The commission report on the status of people with disabilities recognised ten years ago that people with disabilities are significantly under-represented in the workplace and that unemployment has a disproportionate effect on them compared to others in the population.  This situation has not changed since and in the recession education, employment and training are even more important routes for people with disabilities to achieve economic and social independence. The commission report identifies mainstream inclusion as a human right and the preferred option of people with disabilities.  “many people with disabilities feel they are pushed to the margins of society[1] 

Minister, as you know, there are over 6,800 students with verified disabilities in higher education, more again in Further Education and all have expectations of careers, but are affected by the recession and current lack of opportunities.  These people need the same breaks as anyone else and Jobbridge is an excellent initiative for all unemployed people to re-engage actively with the workplace.

AHEAD knows the benefit of internships and have operated the Willing Able Mentoring Internship Scheme (FAS Funded) for 6 years for graduates with disabilities.  Even in a booming economy people with disabilities go the end of the jobs queue and experience additional barriers to employment related to their disability.  The WAM scheme, similar to the Jobbridge recognises the value of work experience as an instrument to break down the barriers and encourage employers to see the talent and ability of people with disability.  It provides fully paid internships of 6-9 months duration for graduates with disabilities immediately changing their status from recipients of disability allowance to tax payers.  The benefits are considerable to the individual, in terms of skills acquisition, to employers who benefit by building capacity to be inclusive and to the government who have graduates switching from DA to becoming taxpayers.  This month alone we know of three graduates with disabilities whose internships have led to employment.

Unfortunately people on disability allowance are not eligible for Jobbridge.  This decision to exclude them from these opportunities is surprising as it would appear to be disconnected from government policy to include people with disabilities in mainstream training and employment opportunities.  Furthermore the Department responsible for employment has through its Disability Sectoral Plan, worked to raise awareness of disability in the workplace and has supported initiatives designed to build the capacity of employers, schemes such as the 02 awards, WAM and others. Most people with disabilities are on disability allowance, in spite of their work history, and so far have had access to mainstream initiatives such as the BTEA scheme and other employment opportunities.

A recent UN report of independent experts on the compliance of Ireland with international human rights states clearly that human rights are not dispensable in times of economic hardship.  Ireland is obliged to ensure human rights equally without discrimination of any kind and should avoid retrogressive measures.  Furthermore it stresses that “the state recall its obligations of non –discrimination and equality in activation policies”[2].

As a country we cannot use our financial difficulties as a reason to disregard our human rights obligations.

We are most concerned that new opportunities are closed to people on disability allowance.  Furthermore it is giving a negative message to employers that their equality obligations are dispensable and that it is OK to exclude people with disabilities.

Employers want the best and many people with disabilities have the qualifications, attitudes and abilities sought by employers, WAM has proved it.  We would ask you to review the eligibility criteria for entry to JobBridge as it will bring greater benefits to employers engaged by raising inclusion issues and it will benefit the whole community of jobseekers.”

[1] A strategy for equality Report of the Commission on the Status of people with disabilities

[2] Un Human Rights Council, Report of the independent expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty May 2011



Another Friday, another week in review!

This week we want to say a MASSIVE CONGRATULATIONS to all involved in the Special Olympics Ireland Team who have been winning medals left, right and centre in Athens!

Our pick of the week showcases their achievements:

Gaining momentum: Ten more medals for Ireland at Special Olympics




Readers should also take a look at this commentary by renowned blogger Maman Poulet on the recent Springboard and Jobbridge Initiatives: Jobs Initiative – will be work and how it’s unattainable for some


Our video of the week is a pretty cool stunt in an airport in Germany – make sure to check it out!

AHEAD also launched Student Voices: Two Reports on the Experiences of Students with Disabilities in Higher Education in Ireland. Photos from the event are available on the website. If you would like a copy of these reports, please email

Niamh Hayes & Ann Heelan (AHEAD) with Declan Treanor (Head of TCD Disability Service) at the launch of Student Voices

Siobhan Barron (NDA) with Ann Heelan & Niamh Hayes (AHEAD) at the launch of Student Voices

Niamh Hayes (GET AHEAD), Vivian Rath (UCD), Brian Power (Dept of Education) & Ann Heelan (Director of AHEAD) at the launch of Student Voices

All that remains to be said is ‘Happy Reading!’

Further & Higher Education News

Time for Quinn to prove that education is truly for everyone

University chiefs warn MLAs of £40m deficit

Higher education: Student expectations for 2012 are higher than ever

Education crisis puts us all to test

Higher Education White Paper: universities to be ranked on job prospects

Student number surge to spark funding crisis

Ex-NCAD head and champion of disability design

NUI volunteer project for Galway festival

Union defends salaries of €100,000 paid to 1,000 university lecturers

Bar raised for students hoping to get medicine

DCU journalism course to allot more time to basic writing skills

Making doctors do the rounds

Halving number of VECs will save €3m, says Quinn

Radical plan will cut number of VECs from 33 to 16

College launches media masters


Disability Headlines

Team Ireland to fore once again as Athens medal haul increases

Carers strategy ‘by end of the year’

Homes for 3,500 with disabilities branded ‘horrible’

Congregated Settings Report on the Transition to Community Living for People with Disabilities

SNAs vow ‘summer of discontent’

HSE report details institutional living conditions

Rate of diabetes doubles since 1980 to hit 347 million

First day goes swimmingly as Special Olympics team win gold

Most of disability funds go on wages

Silver and bronze add to laurels for Special Olympics swimmers

Special Olympics team medal tally now three

Government needs to move on mentally disabled

Homes for mentally disabled to close

€7.5m settlement for woman paralysed ‘by parrot disease’

General Education Articles

FF backs multi-faith primary schools

Irish teens’ online literacy above average

Catholic schools ‘need faith communities’

Parents criticise Minister for change to school transport

Celebrations for class act: students set attendance record

40 new schools to be built by 2017

Primary schools get nod on 2,000 temporary jobs

David Quinn: We need to know how far we’ll go to take religion out of schools

Parental demand at heart of school patronage, says Quinn

Cuts to €1m a day school bus system must go ahead – Minister

40 schools to be built to meet pupil numbers rise


Mental Health in the Media

2,500 young people on waiting list for mental health services

Flanagan accused of ‘suicide’ comment

Ming: I did not tell official to commit suicide

Drop in number of suicides to 8% welcomed by research group

Drugs and drink key factors in North’s suicide rate, study finds

Boy among 11 suicides in city area since April


Other bits and bobs

Charting the way forward on human rights

Firms urged to take on interns paid by state