Staff Picks:

Life and love

Column: My long journey out of the darkness

Universities will lose their way if they put commercial activities ahead of the education of students

Motivation key to repeating Leaving Cert

Ellie Simmonds: ‘When we’re in the pool, it’s war’

RTE Documentary: Two for the Road Episode 1


Higher & Further Education News & Views

Colleges warned to stop duplication of courses or face cuts to funding

Take-up of college offers hits a high

UCC staff to test out hybrid vehicles

Figures suggest tight battle for college places

Probiotic bacteria may help treat anxiety, says team

Fees may be key to future, says new TCD provost

Little change in CAO points for courses

Quinn must get tough on the reform of our education system

3,300 get second-round CAO offer

The consequences of increasing access to education


Disability Headlines

Family win fight to access son’s benefits

Questions raised over HSE fund after court case

Event in aid of motorneuron sufferers

Web brings thalidomide couple together

Chilling with the Built Environment

US stem cell hope for blind assault victim

Teacher shortage leaves nine special needs children without school place

The Big Picture on The Silver Screen

Mother hits out as SNA cuts take away ‘safety net’

Inspiring life leaves a beautiful legacy

‘Mini-pill’ may help prevent blindness…

Autistic boy refused full-time place at school


General Education Stories

Quinn criticises ‘voluntary’ pressure

Cut to Leaving Cert Applied criticised

Former hotel becomes centre of learning as pupils check in and leave prefabs behind

A new chapter: iPads in and books out

Sense of prestige and better exam results driving fee-paying boom

Cut your prices: Quinn issues ultimatum to publishers

School absenteeism – Education for everyone

Substitution funding decision ‘a planning nightmare’

Retirements will cause crisis in pastoral care, managers warn

Shutting loophole would help fight truancy, says expert

INTO issues strike threat over unqualified people

Quinn in the dark as maths crisis deepens

Standing up for our schools

Teachers will have to register by law


Mental Health in the Media

30,000 claim sickness benefits for depression

Teenager ‘begs’ for help in open letter to Health Minister


Employment Features

Entry rules for free courses to be eased

Finding a course that gives the best chance of landing a job

Minister Quinn announces eligibility change to Springboard – Six-month unemployment requirement waived for final course places


Ola and welcome to our ongoing week in review initiative. Lots of interesting and informative articles this week, as well as two very inspiring videos.

We are delighted to see Caroline Casey, CEO of Kanchi sharing her story with the world at TED. Check out her video here: Looking past limits 

Also this week, three very powerful pieces on the individual experience of living with a disability, caring for children who have disabilities and campaigning for better services:

  1. They asked me why would I want to live
  2. ‘You cry, but this is life. You have to just get on with it’
  3. The level of shocking disregard for cystic fibrosis needs . . . is palpable. This Government doesn’t feel very new

For anyone interested in new technologies, check out Roger Ebert at TED talking about his jounrey to find a computer voice that would sound human! Roger Ebert: Remaking my voice.

Finally some food for thought from Headstrong boss, Tony Bates: Turning our conflicts into conversations

And in other news:

Community action central to tackling suicide, says FG

Teacher’s pet: Has there ever been a Minister for Education like Ruairí Quinn?

Job Shadow Initiative

Most suicidal people reacting to specific events, says counsellor

Special needs education claims cost €14.5m

Hard work pays off as Trinity names a record 85 scholars

Urgent need to boost literacy, says Quinn

Letter to the Editor: Living with motor neurone disease

Campaign to put suicide crisis centres close to all

Students of pioneering college course travel to Berlin

Call for literacy co-ordinator in schools

Pilot scheme boosts literacy skills

Children from poorer families face double hit at third level

Employment opportunity for people with disabilities.

Jane Lynch Battles Hearing Disability

DFI Newsletter April 2011

Frustrating delays facing special kids

The university of YouTube

An industrious view of higher education

Can Disability Be Sexy?

IVEA Congratulates City of Dublin VEC on being chosen as single awarding authority for student grants

How William drove into the Irish history books

Schizophrenia research breakthrough

Call for change in legislation to retain graduates

Scandal of illiteracy

Catherine Zeta Jones ‘received treatment for manic depression’

Children forced to wait five years for hearing aids

Special needs cuts hit thousands of children

Mental health ID checks

National newborn hearing screening to be rolled out

Education funding – Savings must start at the very top

Time to Talk, Time to Change – interactive video

Deaf children not being diagnosed ‘until it’s too late’

College grants to be paid into bank accounts

Algae genes could restore sight in the blind

Limited Resources must not become an obstacle for ratifying the Disability Convention

Pupils with special needs may face resource teacher shortage

Caroline Casey of Kanchi speaking at the TED Women event in Washington DC, 2010.


I took the title of this weeks post from this wonderful, inspirational video (again from the TED Talk Series) on how entrepreneur Mick Ebeling built an open-source invention allowed an artist with locked in syndrome to write and draw. What I particularly like about this initiative is that it is low cost and accessible to those of us who aren’t millionaires! Again, another seven minutes that you should definitely take the time out to watch:



In other news then: