Cork ETB and Ahead UDL pilot 2017/2018 is a root and branch look at UDL in our Further Education Colleges in Cork. The pilots main aim is to support teachers by collaboration and to devise a more inclusive system and to ensure all students are catered adequately in our FE colleges. The number of students with disabilities accessing the FE sector is growing every year and furthermore these learners have an expectation to access any program and to being included in all aspects of the course, including work experience and social activities.
Consequently, both practices and attitudes are evolving, and including students with disabilities is now everyone’s job, not just the job of a designated disability officer.
Another consideration is the increase in the expectations of students with disabilities regarding supports they will receive in further education.
After all, they have already received a range of supports in second level and they are aware of the supports available in higher education.
Ahead and CETB joined forces to support and build a network of inclusion in further education to support staff become disability confident and build greater capacity to include students with disability within their mainstream provision.
This pilot began in September 2017 and it already has facilitated teachers to learn from colleagues doing similar jobs about what they are doing and to include students with a range of disabilities, mental health and specific learning difficulties along with broadening inclusive practices in the further education classroom.
It also has allowed staff to share their innovative inclusive practices, collaboration with other staff and to learn from each other.
This innovative pilot is the first of its kind in Ireland and it will be formally launched in September 2018.
UDL Champions from CETB FE Colleges:
Colette Twomey, St. Johns College, Carol Neenan, Colaiste Stiofan Naofa, Liz Moynihan, Director, Kinsale College, Helen Carey, Cork College of Commerce, Ann Heelan, Ahead, Lynda O’Connor, Kinsale College.