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.
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 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.