Disability Support Service - Frequently Asked Questions

   

Q. I have a disability. How do I apply to study at DIT?

School-leavers with a disability applying for full time undergraduate programmes at DIT should apply via the Central Applications Office (CAO), indicating on their application that they have a disability or specific learning difficulty. DIT is a member of the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) Scheme. For more information, see our Admissions & DARE page. 

Mature students with disabilities (i.e. at least 23 years of age on the 1st January of the proposed year of entry) cannot apply through the DARE Scheme, but should apply through the CAO via the Mature Student route.

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Q. Should I disclose my disability to DIT?

Yes, the Disability Service team is there to support you. By disclosing your disability it means that you will be assisted in accessing a range of reasonable supports to enable you to successfully complete your course.  However, the choice to disclose is entirely up to you. If you do not make the Disability Support Service aware of your disability, we may not be able to provide you with the support you need.

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Q. How do I register with the Disability Support Service?

Services are for all students with a disability, including, but not limited, to the following:

  • Hearing Impaired / Deaf
  • Visually Impaired / Blind
  • Specific Learning Difficulties (such as Dyslexia)
  • Physical Disabilities
  • Significant Ongoing Illnesses
  • Mental Health Conditions
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Asperger's Syndrome and other Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Neurological Conditions (such as Epilepsy)
  • Speech & Language Impairments
  • Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (Dyspraxia)

If you require assistance for a disability or specific learning difficulty, you should register with Disability Service; the initial point of contact should be made via the Disability Office at (01) 4027681 or disability@dit.ie.

You will then be assigned a Learning Support Officer and Assistive Technology Officer who will work with you to assess the level of support required.

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Q. What evidence of my disability do I need to provide?

In order to avail of reasonable accommodations and/or auxiliary aids, students with a disability must provide evidence of disability/supporting documentation from an acceptable professional source or specialist.

This evidence should be signed and stamped by the relevant professional and submitted to the Disability Support Service before any reasonable accommodations and/or auxiliary aids can be put in place.

Documentation or letters of support from a General Practitioner (GP) are not considered to be an acceptable evidence of disability and will not be accepted as such.

The table below gives an indication of the accepted professional sources/specialists for each category of disability, and is based on the eligibility criteria for the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE).  

Acceptable Professional Sources/Specialists

Disability Category

Accepted Specialist

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Appropriately qualified Psychiatrist OR Psychologist OR Neurologist OR Paediatrician (for under-18s) who is a member of his or her professional or regulatory body

ADD/ADHD

Appropriately qualified Psychiatrist OR Psychologist OR Neurologist OR Paediatrician (for under-18s) who is a member of his or her professional or regulatory body

Blind/Vision Impaired

Ophthalmologist, Ophthalmic Surgeon OR other relevant specialist or consultant

Deaf/Hearing Impaired

(A) Applicants who have an audiogram: Professionally Qualified Audiologist

(B) Applicants who attend a School for the Deaf: Principal of School for the Deaf

(C) Applicants with a Cochlear Implant: Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Consultant OR Cochlear Implant Programme Coordinator

DCD – Dyspraxia/Dysgraphia

Psycho-educational assessment completed by an appropriately qualified psychologist AND a report from an Occupational Therapist OR Neurologist who is a member of their respective professional or regulatory body.

Mental Health Conditions

Psychiatrist

Neurological Conditions

Neurologist OR other relevant specialist or consultant

Speech & Language Disabilities

Speech & Language Therapist

Physical Disabilities

Orthopaedic Consultant OR other relevant Consultant appropriate to the disability/condition.

Significant Ongoing Illnesses

Diabetes Type 1: Endocrinologist or Paediatrician (for under-18s)

Cystic Fibrosis (CF): Consultant Respiratory Physician or Paediatrician (for under-18s)

Gastric Conditions:  Gastroenterologist

Others: Relevant specialist or consultant in area of condition.

Specific Learning Difficulties

Appropriately qualified psychologist

  

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Q. What financial Information is available to me?

The HEA's Student Finance website is www.studentfinance.ie and applications for SUSI Grants can be made online at www.susi.ie.

Student Finance brings together comprehensive and user-friendly information on the range of financial support programmes available in further and higher education. It is designed to help users to quickly and conveniently identify the various sources of financial support that they may be eligible for and how they might apply. It is a valuable information resource for students, future students, their families and those who provide advice and guidance.

If a student has appropriate supporting documentation, the service can apply for funding from the ESF Fund for Students with Disabilities. This fund is allocated to DIT to enable the provision of appropriate supports to eligible students.

http://www.studentfinance.ie/mp7575/f und-for-students-with-disabilities/index.html

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Q. Can DIT guarantee my privacy?

Any information that you provide to the Disability Service will remain confidential. It is important to remember however, that the Disability and Service cannot provide support in isolation. With your permission, information will be disclosed solely for the purpose of arranging the necessary support for you. For more information, see our page on confidentiality.

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Q. What services and support is offered to students with disabilities?

Every student with a disability in DIT has access to a wide range of reasonable supports and services. These are are based on each student’s individual needs.

Click on the links below to find out more information on the supports that we can provide:

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Q. What support is available for examinations?

DIT is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities are in no way disadvantaged in examinations.  Specific examination and other assessment arrangements may be made for you if you have a temporary or permanent disability.

The specific arrangements are intended to enable you to perform to the best of your ability and are not intended to give you an unfair advantage. These arrangements are specified in accordance with DAWN (the National Disability Advisors Working Network) exam policy guidelines for third level institutions.

You have to register with the Disability Service, and provide appropriate supporting documentation, in order to be assessed for exam accommodations. All exam accommodations for DIT students are in strict accordance with the requirements of the DAWN and DIT examination policy.

If a disability does prevent you taking an exam or assessment the way the rest of your class are required to, then it might be possible to make special arrangements for you.

Examination accommodations may include:

  • Time allowances
  • Flexibility with assignments
  • Disregarding of spelling, grammar, punctuation etc
  • Rest periods
  • Use of a Reader/ Scribe
  • Smaller examination centre
  • Physical space
  • Accessible toilets
  • Use of Computer or Assistive Technology

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Q. I have a Specific Learning Difficulty – what do I do?

There are a large number of students with specific learning difficulties (SpLD) studying in DIT programmes. The Disability Service offer a range of services to assist in meeting the needs of students with an SpLD. The Disability Service has four full time Learning Support Officers who are based across all the campuses. In order to get the support you need, you should register with the Disability Support Service.

The overall aim of Learning Support is to equip students with strategies which suit their individual learning style and to assist them in becoming independent learners.  They do this by identifying students’ needs and developing their skills in: active learning; time management; reading; note-taking; exam/study skills and task analysis.

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Q. I think I have a Specific Learning Difficulty - what options are open to me?

You should contact the Disability Service. We offer a screening service to any student in DIT who suspects they may have a specific learning difficulty. The initial screening is carried out by the Learning Support Officer. Should the assessment determine the likelihood of an SpLD, the student can be referred to an educational psychologist for a full assessment. With a full educational psychologist assessment report, students can access a range of supports and services available to them. See our Dyslexia Screening page for more information.

For students who require an up to date assessment report the Service can refer students to the relevant professionals. Please note there is no funding available from the Disability Service for this assessment.

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