Information for Teaching & Professional Staff
The number of students with disabilities in Trinity College increases every year. This means that as a College community, we need to become increasingly aware of the types of disabilities, and how they may impact on students in a university environment. We must recognise that in many instances, the College environment can create ‘disability’ by following practices that are non-inclusive and are barriers to participation. Willingness among staff to accommodate and support students makes a significant difference to a student’s experience of higher education. Please see the most recent Disability Service Annual Report for student statistics, the breakdown of disability types in College and further information about the Disability Service activities. See also the Trinity College Equality Policy.
This Information for Teaching and Professional Staff section includes information on how to support students with disabilities, information about Learning Educational Needs Summaries, and the role of the Academic Liaison Officer (ALO). Reasonable accommodations are explained in a downloadable booklet called ‘Everything you wanted to know about Reasonable Accommodations and supporting students with disabilities but nobody bothered to tell you'. By clicking this link you can understand our legal responsibilities.Finally, there is also a list of frequently asked questions from staff.
Follow Inclusive Curriculum practices:
The main way to support students with disabilities is to follow inclusive teaching and assessment practices. The Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Website is an extensive resource with good practice guidelines that enable you to support all students. Often, one action (e.g. circulating notes in advance) can benefit many different students for many different reasons. Academic staff can consider accessibility when designing curricula so as to lessen the need for future reasonable accommodations.
Further help on creating an inclusive learning environemnt is provided by the Trinity Inclusive Curriculum tool at: : www.tictool.ie.
For more information on this tool please refer to the CAPSL website at: http://www.tcd.ie/CAPSL/TIC/evaluation/.
Role of the Trinity Disability Service:
Trinity College is a very large establishment with many different physical environments, administrative departments, academic and non-academic support services, and IT systems. Students with a disability are encouraged to register with the College Disability Service in Trinity College to seek supports where the disability could affect their ability to participate fully in all aspects of their life in College. All students who register with Disability Service have an individual needs assessment with a Disability Officer to determine the support they require.
Following the Needs Assessment, the Disability Service generates a Learning Educational Needs Summary. This outlines a student's disability, and how it affects their learning. The LENS report identifies supports and reasonable accommodations to which the student is entitled. The Disability Service may recommend and implement other supports for students such as library special borrowing privileges, exam accommodations, and assistive technology. If required, the Disability Service can also act as an advocate for the student.
Students with disabilities can also avail of Occupational Therapy support which provides confidential, practical support for students who may be experiencing mental health difficulties and/or physical and sensory difficulties. It explores difficulties a student may have with aspects of college life, and supports the student in developing strategies to manage these difficulties.