How does my child secure a third level place on lower points if he/she has a diagnosed disability?

The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE ) is a college and university admissions scheme which offers places on a reduced points basis to school leavers with disabilities. DARE offers an opportunity to students who have the ability to benefit from and succeed in higher education but who may not be able to meet the points for their preferred course due to the impact of their disability/specific learning difficulty.

Having a diagnosis of a disability does not automatically mean a student will avail of a lower points course. The most important point is that it is not the disability itself that deems one eligible, but ability to show with supporting documents and information the impact and the manner in which this challenge was overcome.

If you are deemed eligible you will be considered if you have a minimum of 300 points and you meet the matriculation requirements for the course. Since 2016, priority has been given to applicants with physical and sensory disabilities and those who are both DARE and HEAR eligible. All information pertaining to this is on www.accesscollege.ie

Places are competitive. There are a small number of places on some of the course offerings, which are awarded to the most deserving successful applicants who meet the criteria. Usually the number of successful DARE applicants far exceeds the number of places available.

The first thing to do is make the initial application on the CAO. Once you have your CAO number, you will be led to the online application. It is worth spending time on your personal statement and a member of your school community will help with the educational impact statement. Applicants with a specific learning difficulty are asked to provide a full psychological assessment. This report must be accompanied by attainment scores from tests administered by the school and/or an appropriately qualified psychologist. DARE and HEAR (Higher Education Access Route ) application information days are held around the country and in NUI Galway on Saturday, January 11, 2020 from 10am to 2pm.

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