This page outlines the support systems and organisations available to support students with a disability entering higher/ further education in Ireland.
If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty you are encouraged, though not obliged, to indicate this on your CAO application form. If you are not applying through the CAO system you are encouraged to inform the relevant institution. The purpose is solely to support access to higher education by students with a disability or specific learning difficulty.
For further information you should contact the access officer at the relevant Higher Education Institution (HEI)
The Association for Higher Education Access and Disability (AHEAD) provides comprehensive information on their website for students with disability
As a student with a disability, you may be interested in the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE).
DARE is for school leavers, from any EU country, with a disability which has a direct impact on their education.
To qualify for DARE applicants must be under 23 years of age as of 1 January of the year of entry to college. If successful, DARE applicant may be entitled to enter a given course on reduced points and avail of a suite of supports while attending college.
To find out if you are entitled to apply for DARE, please visit
Please note that not all colleges participate in the DARE scheme. However, all third level colleges have an Access Office which provides information on the supports available to students with disabilities.
See: https://www.cao.ie/index.php?page=hei&type=access for contact details of individual HEI Access Officers.
If you have a specific disability, you are encouraged to contact the relevant Access Office to talk about your particular needs. The access office in consultation with the student endeavours to provide the supports identified.
Students attending FET are encouraged to inform the Further Education College about the disability and discuss with the college the types of supports which may be available. The supports available are particular to each college.
For more information, please see:
The National Disability Authority www.nda.ie
Acquired Brain Injury Ireland http://www.abiireland.ie/