Pick of the week:

Reading, writing and washing-up


TED Talk:

Joshua Foer: Feats of memory anyone can do


Higher & Further Education News & Views

NUI draft charter on human rights welcomed

Why Bahraini human rights matter in Dublin

Funding cuts force closure of college creches

Major science forum for Dublin

A key to Cork’s educational past turns up after 100 years

Ireland ranks 16th for higher education


Disability Headlines

Major delay in assessing disabled children

New MS oral drug still not available

McKillop sets the trend with world record

Ten NI Paralympic hopefuls in contention for London

A robot, a song and a royal visit: big plans for Joanne O’Riordan

Captain Courage: Amputee Football Association of Ireland

Festival Announced Assisted Performances


General Education Stories

Review says Department of Education has ‘no sense of the bigger vision’

Time we relied on our own expertise

Sixteen and pregnant: what’s a school to do?

A pioneering approach to development


Mental Health in the Media

Pieta House reports rise in young people seeking help

Drawing away depression

Higher risk of schizophrenia for teenage cannabis users

Mental health services allowed to ‘go into freefall’

Mental health service cutbacks leading to suicides, nurses’ conference hears


Employment Features

Further 1,000 places to be added to JobBridge scheme

Is the Government jobs initiative a bridge to nowhere?

Staff Picks:

State of our education system is a national emergency

Response to Job Bridge ‘significant’

Startup Hires Autistic Adults

RTE Player – Two for the Road: Episode 3

Higher & Further Education News & Views

Funding crisis pushing Ireland down global college tables, warns provost

Timeline for upgrade of Waterford IT to university sought

Irish universities have said there is a need to reassess the third level points system and its impact on learning at second level.

We’ve got to look at CAO system, but there might be nothing better – universities

Course choices influenced by race for CAO points

Call for college year to be extended

Cork has its head firmly in the clouds

Mexican government honours UCC academic


Students missing career chances by working for money rather than experience

College staff face Garda checks under bill terms

Number of courses puts pressure on students

UCD engineers a better entry route for students

Disability Headlines

Hear the word on the street

People with autism thrive as software testers

Doting father’s ‘crusade’ for daughter with CF

Asperger’s syndrome gets in way of work? Not at this startup

1 in 5 has long-term disabilities

Burton highlights isolation of young disabled people

Cork blind solicitor to feature in documentary

Forever young: Scientists figure out how to renew muscle tissue

General Education Stories

Still waiting for a classroom

In defence of fee-paying schools

Time to end this divisive debate on private education

Teachers Pet Column

Almost 50% of Leaving Cert pupils take grinds

‘Lack of consultation’ on points system review

80pc of students pick ‘easy’ Leaving Cert subjects, says study

Leaving Cert students study 4 hours a night

Entry system puts students ‘constantly under strain’

Points system ‘has negative impact’

1,000 primary teachers out of work due to cutbacks, says INTO

School boards decide who to hire and fire, says Sherlock

Quinn wants CAO forms filled after exam results out

Delay filling 475 special needs posts defended

Grinds ‘give unfair advantage’

Science is a rap for science students

It’s the final chapter for bulky textbooks

In my opinion: The problem is not maths itself, but the culture of fear growing around it


Mental Health in the Media

TDs attend suicide awareness workshops

Employment Features

Questions raised over Tesco eligibility for intern scheme

Teachers bring touch of Silicon Valley to Shannonside school

Who wants to be an agripreneur?

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

Hey Everyone,


A day early as I’m jetting off into the sun for my holidays tomorrow! Week in review will be back on the 2nd Sept!




Picks of the week:

The Irish Examiner did a big feature on Mental Health this week that we would really recommend reading. The links are below under ‘Mental Health in the Media’

Small talk at the movies: cinemas let autistic children make some noise

Supporting vocational learners: a focus on transition from FE to HE (from the Guardian Blog)


Further & Higher Education News

College closure leaves 20 staff without jobs and 360 students without classes

Language teaching sector worth €274m

‘They are robbers. They stole my money. I want my €2,300 back…but I don’t know what I can do’

Company had over €200,000 in bank just six months ago

Demand for college places falls

Points for science and tech courses to rise as student demand shifts

Kenny Dalglish Endorses Boccia World Cup

Colleges seek bond to protect students

Innovation in part-time study: adapting to the needs of professional learners

Student income has fallen by 33%

‘Back to Education’ payments double as jobless rate soars


Disability Headlines

How rock’n’roll can take its toll

North has highest rates of post-traumatic stress

Surviving a Long-Lasting Battle with Severe Depression

Colin Farrell opens up about his sons disability

Bacon ‘increases risk of diabetes’


General Education Articles

Cost of uniforms and books anger parents.

Free schools outperform fee-paying schools

A dozen ways to take the edge off back-to-school expenses

Transport to school: Counting costs of getting there


Mental Health in the Media

Head of suicide office threatens to resign

Suicide prevention – A service undermined

Finding a path to recovery

Bridging the divide between one reality and another

A broader platform to discuss mental health service concerns

Our mindset, rooted in a biomedical approach, needs a radical overhaul

MyMind: Mental Health Matters

National suicide prevention director threatened to resign in staffing row

€9.6m to house 60 troubled teenagers last year

€22m spent on mental health agency staff, overtime

Patients ‘not able to access’ psychologists


Employment Issues

Employers exploit internship scheme to get free workers

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


The AHEAD View: The Jobbridge Scheme


Food for Thought: For Some With Autism, Jobs to Match Their Talents


Focus on Mental Health: The Vincent Browne Show (TV3) on Tuesday 5th July focused exclusively on Mental Health. Minister of State Kathleen Lynch joined Vincent to debate mental health services and strategies.

You can view the entire show online: Vincent Browne Show, Tues 5th July


A few favourites this week:


Further & Higher Education News

Unpaid internships: a JobBridge to nowhere?

Criticism of plans for education ‘unfair’

Maths ‘best third level subject’

Maths and science boost gives hope for our future

VEC chiefs divided on redeployment

Australia beckons for young jobseekers

Interest up in science as college applications slip

Applications rise for science courses

€500 rise in third-level ‘fee’ cannot be revoked, says Quinn

Student’s research project has lift off

Cork VEC demands meeting with Kenny

Announcement on VECs soon


Disability Headlines

When will there be time to look at ‘Time to Move On’

Getting People with Disabilities Back to Work

Public donations to guide dog charity fall by €1m

The IPad’s Secret Abilities

Girl’s transplant hopes dashed by airlift failure

All new babies to be screened for cystic fibrosis

Charities threaten legal action over benefits cuts for disabled

€7m is pumped into voice-activation project

Special Olympians make triumphant return from Athens games

All of us on the organ list share an obsession — time

Psychiatrists back findings of critical disability report

Lynch to visit ‘unsuitable’ institution for intellectually disabled


General Education Articles

Free special needs pre-schooling plan

‘Non-teachers’ taught thousands

Zero tolerance on unqualified or retired teachers urged

Getting kids to school is up to parents, not the State

Minister says schools can seek voluntary contributions

School appeals entry bias against Traveller

Primary teachers ‘not comfortable’ with confronting gay bullying

Still waiting 7 years on

All school bus options studied, minister claims

Dáil protest over special needs cuts

Teacher training course reform


Mental Health in the Media

Study finds worrying attitudes to depression

Quarter of people still think depression a ‘state of mind’

Directorate to overhaul mental health services

Lack of funds and hiring ban hitting mental health plan, says report

Resilience and Work


Other articles of interest

Learning to talk the talk

The Search is on for the World’s Best Young Social Entrepreneurs

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