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Information for Parents/ Guardians

Dear Parents (or Guardians),

As a parent of a student with a disability, you may have questions about the support your son or daughter can expect in Trinity. This handbook for parents will assist you in understanding how Trinity and the Disability Services works.

The transition to university is a big step for all students, but particularly for those with additional support requirements. It can be difficult to find out what needs to be done and the appropriate times to do so. We want to ensure that every student is adequately supported. Students who engage and participate in supports we offer do well in Trinity and we encourage students to avail of supports we offer.

This Parent handbook (below) was written to answer some of the questions you may have, to describe the kind of tasks and roles your son or daughter will undertake as part of engaging with campus life, and to explain the supports the Disability Service can offer and to describe the difference in between second level and third level supports.

Please feel free to contact us if you have further questions or need more detailed explanations.

Best wishes
Declan Treanor signature
Declan Treanor
Director of the Disability Service

Support your student

Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin shares your goal of promoting your student’s growth and success. It is our hope that every student flourishes at Trinity, and leaves us, at the end of four years, as an educated, independent, self-confident adult. The following information describes both our role as an institution and your parental role during this joint venture.

In this section you will also find a context for interpreting student life, academic expectations, student services, and University regulations. Before reading on, get to know the Trinity lingo by reading the ‘jargon buster’ at:

Letting go

Be patient and supportive. The university years are an appropriate time to change plans, examine new ideas, explore academic and career goals, and test abilities. Parents who fear that a student will permanently abandon family values may find it useful to think of the university years as a time when students try out new identities – which might include radical changes in hairstyles and fashion!

Parents who maintain a sense of humour, adopt a watchful but non-invasive eye, while reassuring and encouraging their student, will find that the person who emerges into adulthood, remains the person they raised, even though they may not look the same.

Be confident in our expertise

Trinity has a very long history and has developed student services to meet the needs of a diverse student body. Read a brief description of each of these at:  Parents can support students by acknowledging that getting to grips with university, academically and socially, takes time. Assure your student that he or she possesses the intelligence, character, and strength to succeed and, in time, will feel at home in Trinity. Encourage your student to talk with tutors, accommodation wardens, and the Student’s Union. Feeling confident about using internal and external resources is a major developmental goal for the university years.

College Tutors

Being a student includes more than four years of reading texts, attending lectures and exchanging ideas with academic staff and fellow students. It is the sum of a student’s life in the university. The Tutorial Service is unique, confidential and available to all undergraduate students offering student support in all aspects of Trinity life, and is a vital resource for all students. Please explore the Tutorial Service at to find out how we can support your student.

Don't panic

You will get emotional phone calls, letters, or emails. Often when troubles become too much in first year, the only place to turn to is home. Unfortunately, this may be the only time when your loved one decides to get in touch, so you may equally never hear about the ‘A’ grade essay, the brilliant night out, mastering the washing machine, or the perfect spag bol. Be patient, listen, and try not to worry too much about a particular incident. The time to be concerned is when this type of contact continues over an extended period. If there are short term solutions (e.g. moving to another flat), suggest them.

Parent Handbook

We have produced a handbook for parents that you can download here.

    image of the front cover of the parent handbook

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Last updated 19 July 2017 (Email).