Dáil Éireann - Volume 454 - 08 June, 1995
Written Answers. - Third Level Students with Disabilities.
Miss M. Wallace Miss M. Wallace
55. Miss M. Wallace asked the Minister for Education the arrangements, if  any, being made by the Higher Education Authority to promote the accessibility of third-level education for people with disabilities; whether she will undertake to provide a capitation allowance for students with disabilities attending third-level institutions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10459/95]
Minister for Education (Ms. Bhreathnach) Niamh Bhreathnach
Minister for Education (Ms. Bhreathnach): As stated in the White Paper on Education “Charting our Education Future” speical additional arrangements may need to be made to enable people with disabilities to follow third level courses without difficulty. Third level institutions will be encouraged to provide special arrangements for students with disabilities. These will build on existing good practice and relevant research. The Higher Education Authority will pursue a supportive and monitoring role and will actively encourage the development of such special arrangements in all institutions.
The Higher Education Authority has already established a Committee on Access and Participation of Students with Disabilities in Higher Education. This committee has recently furnished a report and recommendations to the Higher Education Authority about provision for people with disabilities at third level. The authority is now proceeding to detailed consideration of this report.
I have no plans at present to provide a capitation allowance for students with disabilities attending third level institutions. These students will benefit from abolition of fees for undergraduate courses. They are also eligible for third level student support subject to a means test. Moreover, in 1994 I provided funding for the setting up of a hardship fund of which £80,000 was designated to assist students with disabilities. A similar provision has been made for 1995.
Dáil Éireann 454 Written Answers. Third Level Students with Disabilities.