Open Learning & Students With Additional Needs 2018-02-26T21:33:45+00:00


Carlow Institute of Further Education and Training is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and access for students who have a disability, specific learning difficulty or medical condition. We endeavour, wherever possible, to make it easier for such students to access our courses and to participate in student life at the Institute.

Additional support* can be available to those who

  • are deaf or hard of hearing
  • are blind or vision impaired
  • have a specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia
  • have a general learning difficulty
  • have a developmental co-ordination disorder, such as dyspraxia
  • have ADD or ADHD
  • have and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (including Asperger’s Syndrome)
  • have physical or mobility difficulty
  • have speech and language difficulties
  • have a mental health condition
  • have a neurological condition

How Can I Access Additional Support?

Access to additional support is dependent on you applying for it. If you have a disability or support need, we ask you to provide us with this information when you make your general application. If you provide us with the relevant information, we will apply for funding for additional support in your studies.

The additional support available may include

  • Academic/learning support
  • Assistive technology, equipment and software
  • Examination accommodation (e.g. extra time allowance, note-taker etc.)
  • Group or individual educational support or assistance
  • Note-takers, scribes

General Learning Support

Where we can, we also support students who don’t have a statement of special educational need, or those who might just need extra help. If you think you need a little extra support, please make sure you contact the Student Support Team.

* Very Important Information

The funding available for additional support for students with disabilities/ special needs comes from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) Fund for Students with Disabilities. This funding is subject to application, and the eligibility of each student, and level of support offered is determined by the HEA.

Our ability to provide you with additional supports depends upon:

  • the information and supporting documentation you give us
  • how soon we get this information and supporting documentation (so we can make a timely application on your behalf)
  • your eligibility as determined by the HEA
  • the funding we receive from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) based on your information
  • have significant on-going illness

Please let us know about a disability or learning difficulty as soon as you apply to study with us. You’ll find some initial questions on the application form. We’ll contact you for information to make the application, and we’ll also let you know the HEA decision.

Applications for additional support funding will only be processed if accompanied by a consultant’s report of a disability or illness, or an educational psychological report in the case of specific learning difficulties. The additional support available will be determined by the HEA funding and is based on the information that you supply. Educational psychological reports that are over five years old are not accepted by the HEA. Please note that reports must be from either a Consultant or Educational Psychologist only – letters from General Practitioners (GP) or support organisations will be not be accepted by the HEA. Late application will mean that access to additional support, if granted by the HEA, will be delayed. Applicants must meet certain nationality and residency criteria to be funded.

We welcome students with additional learning needs, and disabilities, and while every effort will be made to support access to our programmes, Carlow Institute cannot guarantee to facilitate support for all students who wish to enrol. Access to courses and appropriate support is subject to appropriate approval and requisite resources (physical and personnel) from relevant government departments and agencies, and from Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board.

Current funding regulations mean that HEA funded supports are only available to students on PLC funded courses. This means that HEA funded supports are not available to students taking Repeat Leaving Certificate (RLC) programmes. Students taking the Repeat Leaving Certificate will be supported to make an access applications to relevant University and Institute of Technology CAO entry courses using the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) scheme to support progression. Please ask our Student Support Team for further information.

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