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



UPDATED Monday 27.06.2011 More information on changes here

See message below from Ann Heelan, Director of AHEAD:

RE: SPRINGBOARD eligibility for graduates with disability

The excellent Springboard Initiative has 5,900 new higher education places available to unemployed people on Higher Education courses directed at meeting skill shortages identified by Forfas such as ICT, Retro fitting and the green economy.

Unfortunately these innovative opportunities are closed to unemployed people with disabilities because of the social welfare category within which they find themselves, disability allowance rather than unemployment benefits.  This decision to excluse those on disability allowance is based on the assumption that they are unavailable for work, an assumption which simply is not true. A great many people with disabilities have good qualifications, are unemployed due to their disability or the effect of the recession but want to work and to avail of educational opportunities available to other unemployed people.

The situation of the economy is in crisis, we all know this but it does not justify excluding citizens by denying them their entitlement to participate in education.  A recent UN Report of the independent expert on the question of human rights and extreme poverty, Magdalena Sepúlveda clearly states that human rights are not dispensable in times of economic hardship.  It recognises the discrimination that disabled people face in education and in the workplace and urges the Irish Government to meet its commitment to the education and employment of people with disabilities.

The decision to exclude graduates with disabilities from this innovative initiative is unfair and risks discrimination.  Furthermore it is disconnected from objectives in the National Plan to widen education and employment opportunities. Many People with disabilities want to train and up-skill and have the same opportunities to enter alternative careers and this regressive measure puts them once again at the back of an ever lengthening queue.

Ensuring education courses are open to students with disability is standard practice throughout he higher education sector which has made enormous strides in recent years to ensure equality of educational opportunities to disadvantaged groups.  Many courses allocate quotes to students with disability could Springboard not do the same?  Allocating a quota of places on Springboard for unemployed graduates would allow them as citizens ofIrelandto benefit equally from the great opportunities afforded to their peers by Springboard.

We urge you to please endorse our position by contacting me by e.mail ann.heelan@ahead.ie

Your support is much appreciated.

Ann Heelan

Executive Director