Aisling McHugh, Access Officer IT Carlow, David Denieffe, IT Carlow, Margaret Maxwell, Director of Kilkenny Education Centre
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.
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.
Margaret Maxwell, Director of Kilkenny Education Centre, said she was delighted to work with IT Carlow on this very exciting project.
She 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."
"Our partnership with Kilkenny Education Centre is of strategic importance. Embedding a model that promotes post-project sustainability is critical to the success of SOAR.
"The CPD model used by Kilkenny Education Centre is perfect for this purpose and we look forward to working together to achieve our ambition," said David Denieffe, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Registrar at Institute of Technology Carlow.