On 10th October 2017 we invited guests from the education sector to speak to our group about the services on offer to people with disabilities in County Louth.
Ann Fallon Laegis from LMETB (Louth Meath Education & Training Board) represented the regional skills training centre. They offer free training in three areas: Specific Adult Learning – Basic English and Maths – Free Part time. Return to Education – Students with no difficulties with English/maths. Liberal Arts Programme – Full time.
Ciara O’Shea from DKIT is the disability officer for the college. There are currently 274 people with disabilities registered in DKIT. Ten students have physical disabilities, 5 are wheelchair users, 2 are visually impaired, 3 have hearing difficulties and 25 are on the Autistic spectrum. The demographic is from leaving cert to mature students. Ciara outlined how the college endeavours to accommodate people with many opting for part time programmes.
O’Fiaich College and Drogheda Institute of Further Education (DIFE) were represented by Susan O’Connor and Davy Mc Donnell respectively. The supports available in secondary schools were outlined. In addition, there are a variety of disabilities catered for on post leaving cert courses in both colleges.
Traci Marshall-Dowling from the National Learning Network advised that individuals with support needs could avail of the programmes offered. This may lead to a stepping stone to other training bodies.
Many thanks to all who attended the meeting.