Accessing Higher Education- Supports for someone who stammers

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30 Dec
18 Jan

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Did you know that the Disability Support Service in Higher and Further Education can support someone who stammers? Being a person who stammers can allow you to access the supports offered by this service. ISA recently held an online event titled: ‘Accessing Higher Education- Supports for someone who stammers’. During this event we shared insights from students and professionals working in the field of disability support and higher education. One of the insights that came from this event was that people who stammer did not always consider themselves to have a disability as such, i.e. the person who stammers does not always see themselves as having a disability. However, in terms of accessing supports, it was helpful to access supports through this stream. We shared insights from the perspective of a student who is moving through education - from secondary to further education to higher education. The biggest take from their wise insights was to: ‘find one person to have the conversation with.’ Facing the issue of disclosure in an education setting can be nerve wracking, but by identifying one key person to have the conversation with - be it a lecturer or someone who works in the support structures of the college - can help to ease the burden for the student and begin to access the supports available. Part of our panel of experts included Lorraine Gallagher from AHEAD. One of the challenges that she foresaw was for practical based courses that have an element of job placement and moving through the process of securing the job placement i.e. The Interview. We know from our experience in ISA Employment Support, that the job interview can sometimes be a barrier to entry in employment for someone who stammers. This is also true in education when work placement is part of the course. We also know from our research that there is a positive correlation between graduates who go on to secure employment in their field after education and those that secured a positive work placement while in college. Therefore, to us in the ISA, it is important that students looking for work placement in Higher and Further Education are supported effectively in preparation for the interview. One of the aims of ISA Employment Support is to share information with different Disability and Student Support Services in Higher Education, so that students can be adequately supported through this phase of their education. Our final experts were James McCormack and Maeve McCladin of NUIG, who shared their knowledge from supporting students who stammer in education. By creating a culture among staff of learning and supporting students who stammer in education, they were able to improve the outcomes for these students and their overall experience in education. This event highlighted to us the challenges that a student who stammers faces while going through different educational settings. Equally, it highlighted to us the range of support mechanisms that exist in higher and further education. It is our hope, that this event and others that ISA Employment Support have planned will help to begin the flow of the conversation of how to support someone who stammers. As a result, we will be able to break down barriers that people who stammer may face in their educational and professional lives. We are interested to know your views and we will be looking to create more events around this subject. Please contact with feedback or even personal experiences that you feel you would like to share. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ DARE is a scheme available to CAO applicants and those looking to access higher level education through the disability access route. Information on DARE is available here If you would like any advice or support in making an application, please email there is no charge for this service.

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