Higher & Further Education News & Views

Atlantic Records in £26m link with Oxford University

GAA to build hurling and camogie centre at WIT

How qualified is your lecturer?

Colleges don’t have enough staff with PhDs to qualify as tech universities

Implant research breakthrough at UL

Top marks for UCC’s model student

Campaign by students aims to curb rise in road deaths

Colleges vying for tech university status lack sufficient numbers of suitably qualified staff

Award winning Trinity student is world’s top hacker claims the FBI

Cambridge University apologises over student admissions blunder

Disability Headlines

‘People saw me fall and thought I was drunk’

Mother takes fight for autistic son’s ‘lifeline’ benefit to the Dáil

Families of autistic children to campaign over allowance

Counting the cost of stroke trauma

Probe into top-ups for €150,000 charity chiefs

Youngest in school year more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD

Special needs organisation appeals for host carers

‘Bionic boy’ Calum is home after operation

General Education Stories

CofI schools under threat of exclusion, says Dublin bishop

Homosexual teachers ‘face hostile environment at school’

Schoolchildren can use an iPhone but cannot tie their shoelaces, poll finds

Mastering Mandarin

Modern languages at primary level are crucial

Educate Together to open seven schools

Parents cutting back on costly after-school activities

Students say hola to Spain via video link

Mental Health in the Media

‘Too many’ suicides linked to depression tablets

‘It gives you a lift when you see your work up there’

‘No plan’ for those who want to come off anti-depressants

GAA stars line out for suicide awareness event

Finding the right mental health service for YOUR needs

Anti-depressant drugs – Investigate claimed link to suicides

Warnings that some prescription drugs cause violent thoughts

Woman woke to find she had ‘no emotions’

Schools conference aims to break stigma of suicide

Employment Features

Over 100 new jobs announced in technology companies in Galway and Dublin

Hello everyone,

the last of the four day weeks for a while! Well at least until the June Bank Holiday weekend 🙂

First up this week, make sure you check out AHEAD in the News! Ann Heelan Director of AHEAD featured in the Irish Times Education Profile. You can read the article in full here: Disability is not a bar to learning

We are also delighted to provide a link to Sinead Kanes interview with Ryan Tubridy during the week. Sinead is a current WAM Participant and a graduate of UCC. Sinead has also spoken at GET AHEAD events in the past.

You can listen to the interview here: https://getaheadblog.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/sinead-kane-on-2fm/

In other news, I’ve grouped articles together under some loose headings to make the post easier to browse! Hope this helps! I’ve also added my own personal favourite at the top of the list!

Personal Favourite:

Our daughter has a right to an education, like every other child

Higher Education News & Views

Higher education harmed by political system

John Drennan: Quinn to axe points race by 2014

Third-level heads asked to put forward proposals on reform

Waterford institute spending review

We should ensure there is not too much of an overlap in provision of courses

Graduates to get degree status under alliance

CAO apologises for posting med applicants’ test scores online

Galway’s educational institutes sign up to partnership

Disability News & Views (General)

McDonald’s to improve outlet accessibility

Helping more disabled people get into politics

Transitioning From Primary To Secondary School

Comic’s €250,000 donation is no joke

Teenager with cerebral palsy awarded €3.5m

Disabled man’s quad bike stolen from outside his flat

Mental Health in the Media

Suicide statistics ‘brushed under the carpet’

49% do not seek help for mental problems

One in five social network conversations focus on ‘negative’

Just 50% of people with mental health issues seek counselling

Family calls for more research into anti-depressants

Only 9 cells for mentally ill prisoners, claims POA

General Education News

Online learning bridges the gap from class to the digital world

Teacher’s Pet – Tues May 3rd

Minister on collision course with gaelscoileanna

Yes, we teachers just don’t know how privileged we really are

Our education failures cannot be put on backburner

Other articles of interest

Dragon’s Den judge Gallagher confirms presidential ambition

4th National APA Conference

Concerns at overuse of sedatives in hospitals

Cheap rates not for all

Arts and Disability Awards Ireland 2011

Want to know even more? Then check out the BBC Ouch! blog which has compiled a list of relevant links from the BBC this week: Disability around the BBC this week

This is a fantastic opportunity for 30 students and graduates with disabilities. Please email linda.kelly@ahead.ie to reserve a place. 

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:


So another year, another annual conference done and dusted! ‘The real risk is doing nothing – supporting nursing and midwfiery students in clinical practice’ was an absolutely resounding success! We had presenters from the USA, the UK and Ireland and delegates from not only from colleges but also a high proporton from the HSE.

Here is a snippet fo a video created specifically for the conference by our keynote speaker, Susan Fleming:

All of the presentations as well as some videos  of the talks are available here on our AHEAD website

If you are interested in reading through the clinical guidelines which were launched at the conference, you can do so here:  Supporting Nursing & Midwifery Students in Clinical Practice: A Resource Guide for Clinical and Academic Staff

We are currently in the midst of putting together a conferenc publication and that will be available online by April.


You know when you write a blog post/report/something and spend ages writing and formatting and getting it perfect before you send it off to someone?? And then you delete it or lose it at the last minute? Well that just happened to me! So this is my second (and considerably shorter) blog post about the recent World Café Event in the Kilmainham Hilton Hotel!


Don’t know what a world café is? Then check out the website  www.theworldcafe.com


Anyways, all I really wanted to do was to put up some of the quotes from the students who attended. The event was about finding out from them, what college is like for a student with a disability, not from a Disability Officer or an Access Officer or a Student Union officer. We wanted to students to speak for themselves and tell us first hand how it is.


The quotes are not intended to reflect any particular trend or issue – they were just the ones that struck me, humbled me, made me laugh and in the case of one or two… made me want to cry.

  • Acceptance is a two way thing
  • Empathise not sympathise
  • Not having to explain or justify your disability to DSS
  • The self confidence that you get from knowing about your disability
  • A disability is like having freckles: it’s something you’re born with but shouldn’t make a difference!
  • It’s not about disability, it’s about the person!
  • How do you Jacobs get the figs into fig rolls?
  • With the proper support I can do anything
  • Why do people not believe in us?
  • How do we change the focus from “disability” to “ability”?
  • Supports are there for a reason – don’t let them be taken away
  • Stop expecting silence when you cut out funding
  • My experience has been torture
  • There is nothing more upsetting than becoming a statistic
  • Discrimination does exist and should be considered a criminal offence
  • No one has the right to deny me education because it is inconvenient to them
  • I am neither a statistic nor less than any other person
  • Love the optimism, enthusiasm and all the bad jokes. I really like the way people are really friendly and open minded;
  • Haven’t eaten so much in one day!
  • Don’t think I’ve ever been so proud to be disabled.