Letterkenny IT has been awarded €41,000 for initiatives aimed at supporting students with disabilities to access and engage with higher education.
The move has been welcomed by Donegal TD Joe McHugh.
He said “I am pleased that funding has been allocated for a broad range of initiatives.
“These projects are aimed at improving access to higher education for people with a disability, to improving college campuses and to assist staff with training and development.
“LYIT has been allocated €41,000, for Skills for Study Software Package and Training.
“The initiatives will support the overall strategic development of disability services in higher education institutions.
“This funding for LYIT will help students with disabilities develop the essential skills they require to succeed on their course, through interactive activities, exercises and videos, to build their skills in crucial areas.”
The Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD) aims to support students with a range of conditions and disabilities including sensory and physical disabilities, specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, autism, mental health conditions and significant ongoing illness.
The scope and reach of the FSD has changed significantly over the past twenty years. In 1999, it supported 300 students. By 2018/2019, the fund supported 13,000 students.
“We have been determined to support the Higher and Further Education through the challenges of Covid-19, and to ensure that educational opportunities remain and are made more accessible to everyone, particularly the most vulnerable in our society,” concluded McHugh said.
Letterkenny man Shaun Bradley has welcomed the announcement as a positive step forward for all learners with disabilities.
Mr Bradley said the fund gives him hope for people to progress in education.
He told Donegal Daily: “I know there are all kinds of people with disabilities, like myself, who have learning difficulties. I myself have struggled with education. With the new support that is coming in, I would consider giving it a try again.
“I was rooting for this to happen and I’m glad it did. Assistance is so important for people with disabilities in higher education. The extra support takes the weight off their shoulders.
“I hope now that the fund comes soon, not just for myself, but to help anyone with a disability to improve their skills.”