Students of the Pioneering Trinity College Course for People with Intellectual Disability Graduate
Nov 09, 2012
Students of the pioneering and innovative university course for people with intellectual disability graduated at a ceremony in Trinity College Dublin’s Public Theatre on Thrusday, November 8th. Seventeen students were awarded with Certificates in Contemporary Living when they formally graduated at the ceremony.
The two-year Certificate in Contemporary Living (CCL) course run by Trinity’s National Institute for Intellectual Disability (NIID), was the first full-time course of its kind in the university sector in Ireland. Based on its model, other courses are now being taught in a number of third level institutions both nationally and internationally.
The NIID students who graduated today are the fifth cohort to graduate from the programme in Trinity while over 90 students have graduated from Trinity’s CCL roll-out partners nationwide.
One of the key aims of the CCL course is to promote lifelong learning for people with intellectual disabilities and to ensure that third level education leads to appropriate employment opportunities.
NIID students Vivian Wood, Noelle Doran and Andrew Murray who graduated with Certificates in Contemporary Living
Commenting on the significance of their achievement, NIID Education Officer, Molly O’Keeffe said: "The CCL graduates have overcome great challenges and struggles in their journey to achieve their goals. In achieving their ambitions, the students have also enabled the College and the wider community in developing a deeper understanding of the strengths and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities. In supporting the roll-out of the Certificate in Contemporary Living programme amongst other third level institutions it also ensures educational opportunities across the country for this marginalised group.”
“Over the last two years, the graduate students have made enormous strides in their personal, social and learning development while contributing to campus life, their fellow Trinity students and college staff. Since finishing the course the students have successfully gained part-time employment, some have gone on to further their education in colleges and VECs around Dublin and others are concentrating on moving out of home towards supported independent living in the community. They continue to be wonderful ambassadors of the course and the college.”
There are three aspects to the CCL programme – academic learning, personal growth and career development. On the course students complete modules that include English and Spoken Communication, Mathematics and Financial management, Social Studies, Information and Communication Technology, International Awareness and the expressive arts.
Student Noelle Doran was the recipient of The Margaret McLoughlin Student Prize for excellence in the expressive arts. The prize was established in the NIID by a generous gift from the McLoughlin family and friends and was presented to Noelle by Joan McLoughlin at a special reception preceding the graduation ceremony.
About the National Institute for Intellectual Disability (NIID):
The National Institute for Intellectual Disability (NIID) was established at Trinity College to promote the inclusion of people with intellectual disability and their families. The Institute works to ensure that the basic human rights of people are upheld associated with access to: appropriate education; health services; employment; housing, social amenities, community presence and participation.
The NIID promotes lifelong learning for people with intellectual disability through: The Certificate in Contemporary Living, an inclusive education programme involving Trinity staff and Trinity students undertaking professional degrees; Development and implementation of inclusive research practice; Analysis and commentary on relevant legislation and policy; Parent/family education; Consultancy and partnership with service and advocacy agencies.