DARE HEAR Summary Report 2020

Greater numbers of Higher Education Offers accepted by students with disabilities and students facing socioeconomic disadvantage in 2020.
Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) and Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) Annual Report 2020 published today shows a 22% increase in offer acceptance for students with disabilities and 15% increase for those experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage.

To download the report click here

Changes to requirements for applicants with a Specific Learning Difficulty (SLD)

DARE no longer requires a full psycho-educational report dated within the previous three years of application for students applying on the basis of an SLD (Dyslexia or Dyscalculia).

• Applicants are required to submit a full psychological assessment report of any age in which a diagnosis of an SLD is clearly outlined.
• Applicants will be required to submit attainment scores, either from school-based testing or from testing administered by a suitably qualified psychologist, which have been carried within the previous two years.
• As with all other disability categories, a completed EIS must be included in the application to DARE.

Changes for General Practitioners completing the Section C Evidence of Disability

• Applicants who have an existing diagnosis but have difficulty accessing the appropriate professional to get confirmation of the diagnosis or an updated report may ask their general practitioner (GP) to complete the Section C Evidence of Disability form, if the GP has the relevant information on file.

• To ensure consistency for all applicants to DARE, the Section C (if completed by a GP) must be accompanied by a copy of a document from the applicant’s file in which the diagnosis is confirmed by the DARE appropriate professional.

A Word of Thanks

We would like to thank our school partners for your commitment and patience in working with DARE in what was a challenging year given the significant changes to the criteria and requirements. As a direct result of your hard work in promoting DARE and supporting your students through the DARE application process, many more applicants applied, were deemed eligible and are now fulfilling their dreams and potential.

We would also like to thank all the Guidance Counsellors and Learning Support Teachers who participated in the evaluation of the new Educational Impact Statement. Your feedback was very valuable. We have endeavoured to incorporate as much of it as possible in the EIS for 2017. We look forward to continuing to work with you on this important equity of access initiative in 2017.

Introducing the Changes for 2017

This year is the second and final year of the implementation of changes to DARE as a result of the evaluation and consultation process. These changes are aimed at making it easier and more affordable for applicants with a Specific Learning Difficulty or Developmental Co-ordination Disorder to provide evidence of their disability. Improvements for 2017 to the DARE Educational Impact Statement have also been made based on from the feedback provided from schools and the learning from year one. Every effort has been made to address concerns highlighted in feedback from schools, including the amount of time the form took to complete and challenges experienced by applicants and schools in using the interactive version.

Prioritisation of Reduced Points Places

Prioritisation of Applicants Eligible for both DARE & HEAR

Research has shown that students with disabilities from disadvantaged backgrounds face the greatest obstacles when it comes to progression to higher education. In order to increase the numbers of students facing this ‘double disadvantage’, colleges participating in DARE and HEAR have agreed to prioritise this group when allocating reduced points places.

Prioritisation of Eligible DARE Applicants with a Physical or Sensory Disability

Research has identified that students with physical and sensory (Blind/ Vision Impairment & Deaf/ Hard of Hearing) disabilities are particularly underrepresented in higher education in Ireland relative to all students with disabilities. In order to increase the numbers of DARE students with physical and sensory disabilities being admitted to higher education, the DARE colleges have agreed to prioritise these two groups when allocating reduced points places.