Useful Links: Education, Training & Employment

This report was commissioned by the NDA and carried out by WRC Social and Economic Consultants. The report provides a blueprint for a system that would engage fully with people with a disability and address the changes in employment, education and welfare policies required. I reland has seen a massive expansion in employment over the last decade, with the numbers at work rising by about 50%.  While this jobs growth was reflected in a major drop in unemployment, there appears to have been little or no impact on the numbers of disabled people at work. (July 2006)
AHEAD, the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability, is an independent non-profit organisation working to promote full access to, and participation in, third level education for students with disabilities in Ireland.

Carmichael Centre
Carmichael Centre for Voluntary Groups is a centre for small national voluntary organisations working at the cutting edge in areas such as disability, illness, education, the arts, the environment and social care. The principal objective of the Centre is to nurture and support the development of small voluntary groups, providing an environment which stimulates this development.  It offers a wide range of training courses.
CECDE aims to develop and co-ordinate early childhood education and to advise the Department of Education and Science on policy issues in this area. The Centre's brief covers children from 0 to 6 years of age in a wide variety of settings, including families, nurseries, crèches, playgroups, child minders, preschools and the infant classes of primary schools.
Supporting people who experience disabilities and exhibit, what some have called, "difficult behaviours".  David's view would be, what's most needed when supporting someone who engages in difficult behaviours is imagination. 
David's practice is based upon a simple idea;- difficult behaviours result from unmet needs.  In a sense, difficult behaviours are messages which can tell us important things about a person and the quality of his or her life.
This link brings you directly to the special needs area of the Department of Education and Science website.
EQUAL is one of four Community Initiatives co-financed by the European Union (2000 – 2007).  The programme is co-funded through the European Social Fund (ESF) and will operate between 2001 and end 2007, with a total ESF budget for Ireland of €34m.  EQUAL seeks to identify and address fundamental forms of discrimination and inequality in the labour market through the development of new and innovative policies and practices initiated by EQUAL Development Partnerships.
Early Intervention Feasibility Study (UK)
Mencap, the UK learning disability charity, led a pan-disability feasibility study commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills. This study looked at setting up a centre for early intervention that could give information about early intervention, research what works in early intervention, develop courses and training and publish key research messages.  The report of the feasibility study was delivered to the UK Department of Education and Skills in March 2005.
The aim of EUSE is to facilitate the development of Supported Employment throughout Europe and provide a platform for networking with other organisations and associations at European and worldwide level.
The European Platform for Rehabilitation (EPR) is a network of leading European providers of rehabilitation services to people with disabilities and others who are disadvantaged. These services include vocational training and reintegration in the open labour market.
The Disability section of the FÁS website contains information relating to training and employment for people with disabilities.  It describes how to access employment or training via FÁS Steps to Employment and explains about how Specialist Training Providers, the Supported Employment Programme and Assistive Technology provide additional support for people with disabilities.
As the national awarding body for further education and training in Ireland, the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) gives people the opportunity to gain recognition for learning in education or training centres, in the work place and in the community.   FETAC's functions include; making and promoting awards; validating programmes; monitoring and ensuring the quality of programmes, and; determining standards. 
HETAC is the qualifications awarding body for third-level educational and training institutions outside the university sector.  It is the successor to the National Council for Educational Awards (NCEA). 
IASE promotes and develops supported employment for people with disabilities at a national level.
Irish Association of Teachers in Special Education (IATSE) is an association of and for teachers and educators of people with special educational needs in Ireland.
Kendrick Consulting is a very small specialized international consulting firm principally focused on leadership and emerging developments in the fields of disability, mental health and aging. It undertakes work with governments, non-government organizations and many grass roots initiatives devoted to the needs, issues and rights of disadvantaged people. Its consequent focus is on innovation, quality, change, leadership and other technical aspects of creating sound solutions of a very advanced calibre.  
The Labour Court was established to provide a free, comprehensive service for the resolution of disputes about industrial relations, equality, organisation of working time, national minimum wage, part-time work and fixed-term work matters.  The Labour Court is not a court of law.  It operates as an industrial relations tribunal hearing both sides in a case and then issuing a Recommendation (or Determination/Decision/Order, depending of the type of case) setting out its opinion on the dispute and the terms on which it should be settled.  The Labour Court website provides a database of Recommendations, Determinations, Decisions (the web version of the database is updated daily).  You can search by Dispute Type, by Parties Alphabetically, by Legislative Type or by Case Number.
Labour Relations Commission
The Labour Relations Commission was established on 21 January, 1991 under section 24 of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990.  The Commission promotes the development and improvement of Irish industrial relations policies, procedures and practices through the provision of appropriate, timely and effective services to employers, trade unions and employees. The Commission carries out this mission by providing the following specific services:
  • an industrial relations conciliation service
  • an industrial relations advisory, development and research service
  • a Rights Commissioner service
  • assistance to Joint Labour Committees and Joint Industrial Councils in the exercise of their functions
Léargas is Ireland's National Agency for the management of National, European and International co-operation programmes involving: Education and Lifelong Learning; Vocational Education and Training; Youth and Community Work; Guidance in Education.
The role of the Council is to advise the Minister for Education and Science on curriculum and assessment for early chilldhood education and for primary and post primary schools in the Republic of Ireland.
The National Council for Special Education was set up to improve the delivery of education services to children with disabilities.
  • Guidelines on the Individual Education Plan Process (June 2006):  The guidelines present a checklist of the essential elements required for an Individual Education Plan (IEP), for a child with special education needs as envisaged by the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs, Act 2004.
  • NCSE Implementation Report:  Plan for the Phased Implmentation of the EPSEN Act 2004 - submitted to the Minister for Education & Science on 1 October 2006.
The NEWB is the national agency with responsibility for encouraging and supporting regular school attendance. Specifically, the NEWB was established to ensure that every child attends school regularly, or otherwise receives an education or participates in training.
National Learning Network (formerly called NTDI) is Ireland's largest non-Government training organisation with more than 50 purpose built training and employment facilities catering for around 4,500 students each year. The organisation offers over 40 different vocational programmes which carry nationally and internationally recognised certification and are designed to lead directly to jobs or progression to further education.
New Horizons Partnership is a cross-border organisation that provides services to people with learning disabilities.  It focuses on four main areas: Training, Supported Employment, Social Enterprise Initiatives and the Development of Learning Resources.  It has developed a travel training programme and a work skills programme, with associated multimedia training resources.  New Horizons Partnership's parent organisations are: HSE North Western Area, Disability Action, Foyle Health & Social Services Trust and Ashbrook Organic Farm.
The Open Training College is committed to offering staff in the disability sector, learning opportunities that are accessible, accredited and embody 'best practice’.
The Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education is a report from the UN’s education agency which calls on the international community to endorse the approach of inclusive schools by implementing practical and strategic changes. It includes a dynamic Statement on the education of all children with disabilities, which calls for inclusion to be the norm and a Framework for Action, the guiding principle of which is that schools should accommodate ALL children.
Portal for Irish Eduacation.  This link will connect you to the Special Needs section of the website.
Síolta - National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education in Ireland - is designed to promote quality in early childhood education for all children up to six years of age and is designed as a professional support for early childhood care and education practitioners and providers.  Síolta addresses a broad range of issues including the needs of the child, parental involvement, curriculum, professional practice and the importance of play. The draft framework has been developed using extensive national and international research into the essential elements of quality early education experiences for children. The draft framework will be tested and evaluated in a range of practice settings to ensure that the materials can support the delivery of quality services for children.
The In-Career Development Unit of the Department of Education and Science established the Special Education Support Service (SESS) in September 2003. The service will, as appropriate, consolidate, co-ordinate, develop and deliver a range of professional development initiatives and support structures. Cork Education Support Centre is the host centre from which this nationwide support service will operate. The SESS will facilitate a partnership approach involving support teams of practising teachers, Education Centres, the Inspectorate, the National Educational Psychological Service, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the National Council for Special Education, Third Level Colleges, Health Board Personnel, Teacher Unions and other relevant bodies and services.
UNESCO - the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was founded on 16 November 1945. This website gives information on inclusive education, incorporating special needs education and Education for All.
Words Are My Prisoner
This is a multi layered investigative visual art /theatre project that will probe the idea of words.  Carrowbeg Theatre is a long term theatre project involving service users of the Carrowbeg Training Centre for Adults with Learning Disabilities in Westport, Co. Mayo where the theatre rehearsal space is also based.  It is part of Western Care Association. 
This website was established under the Workway project which was an IBEC/ ICTU initiative set up under the Programme for Prosperity and Fairness to increase awareness and promote the employment of people with disabilities in the private sector.