March 28, 2023

New agreement to help Kilkenny students with disabililties get to college

KILKENNY students with disabilities will be given a better chance of accessing third level education as part of a new deal signed between two local educational institutes.

Institute of Technology Carlow and Kilkenny Education Centre have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that aims to see a greater transition of students with disabilities to higher education.

Under a programme entitled Enabling Transitions, IT Carlow will collaborate with Kilkenny Education Centre to deliver a continuous professional training (CPT) model for secondary school teachers and senior cycle students in assistive technologies such as Echo smart pens, reader pens, speech recognition software, mind-mapping software, and magnification and screen reading software.

A spokesperson told “The overall objective is to ease the transition into higher education for students with disabilities and harness assistive technology to see them achieve their optimum potential.”

IT Carlow is one of a number of higher education institutes in the designated South East Cluster that secured funding under the ‘SOAR’ project for three separate platforms: Enabling Transitions; Travellers in Education; and Connecting Communities Connecting Curriculum. Each platform aims to increase participation by specific categories of students, including students with disabilities. The collaboration with Kilkenny Education Centre is part of the Enabling Transitions programme.

Kilkenny Education Centre provides continuous professional development for the educational community in county Kilkenny and parts of Carlow and Tipperary and facilitates the sharing of ideas and knowledge with the learning community through the ongoing provision and development of services and resources.

Kilkenny Education Centre Director Margaret Maxwell said: “I am delighted the Centre is partnering with IT Carlow to offer this welcome training to teachers, SNAs and parents as they support students with disabilities to use assistive technologies that will ultimately enable their transition to third-level. This is an excellent example of how working collaboratively with the team at IT Carlow and harnessing their expertise in this area enhances the services we offer our educational community.”

PHOTO CAPTION: From left: Aisling McHugh, Access Officer, Institute of Technology Carlow demonstrative a Smart pen to David Denieffe, Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Registrar, Institute of Technology Carlow; and Margaret Maxwell, Director of Kilkenny Education Centre, at the signing of the MOU between the two education providers.



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