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Dr John Kubiak from Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities has a new publication 'Using Concept Mapping as a Learning Tool for College Students with an Intellectual Disability'

July 12th 2016

Dr John Kubiak has a new publication out in The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education. The article is titled: 'Using Concept Mapping as a Learning Tool for College Students with an Intellectual Disability'.

This article outlines how students with an intellectual disability (ID) used concept maps as a learning and research tool in a post-secondary education (PSE) program. Concept mapping is described as a graphical tool used for organizing and representing relationships between concepts and has been shown to have a positive impact on the quality of student learning, especially in higher education. This paper outlines how concept maps were used in one Irish university as a learning tool in an inclusive education college program for people with an ID. Examples are provided from a small group of students who used concept maps as 1) a learning tool for gaining a greater understanding of their own learning processes and 2) as a research tool for eliciting information and gathering data. Further research is needed to better understand how college students with an ID can be supported both individually and collaboratively to develop and progress their learning skills through the use of concept mapping.


Concept Mapping, Students with Intellectual Disabilities, Post-secondary Education Programs, Higher Education, Inclusive Research

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 23, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.7-21. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 29, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 965.943KB)).


Arts, Science and Inclusive Applied Practice
Applications Now Open


About Arts, Science and Inclusive Applied Practice

Arts, Science and Inclusive Applied Practice is a course for people with Intellectual disabilities.

September 2016 will be the first time this course will run.

It will be run by the School of Education in Trinity College Dublin.

It is a 2 year full-time course and will run from September to April each year.

The fees for the course will be €3,000 per year.

The course is pending accreditation as a Level 5 Major Award.

Students will study modules across six interdisciplinary themes:

  • advanced learning theories and self-development;
    • In this theme students will learn about different learning skills and how they can use these in College. They will also have occupational therapy groups and individual meetings.
  •  applied research theories and practice;
    • In this theme students will learn about research methods and will carry out their own research project.
  • applied science, technology and maths;
    • In this theme students will learn about science, maths and health. There will be a focus on how they can use this knowledge in life outside college. 
  • business and marketing;
    • In this theme, students will learn about marketing strategies and how to create a business plan. They will also complete a work placement.
  • advocacy, rights and culture;
    • In this theme, students will learn about human rights and learn the skills needed to advocate for their rights and the rights of others.
  • fine arts and languages
    • In this theme students will learn about languages, art and poetry and will develop skills to express themselves.

How to Apply

There are three parts to the Application:

1. Form A: Student Application Form

The student application form helps us to learn more about you. It gives you a chance to tell us what you are good at, why you want to do the course and what type of supports can help you to do well.
All applicants must complete this form.

You can download the Form A from below:

You can download a sample form A to help you understand how to fill in this form from below:

2. Form B: Application Form for Schools

Form B should be submitted by applicants who are in school or have left school recently (in the last 3 years). You should give this form to your school and ask them to send it back to you.

You can download Form B below:

If you completed school more than 3 years ago but still feel that you may be suitable for this course please email to request alternative application documents.

 3. Evidence of Disability Documents

Arts, Science and Inclusive Applied Practice is a course for students with Intellectual disabilities. Submitting evidence of your disability helps us to make sure you are a suitable candidate for studying this course.

It also makes sure that staff members in the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities have the information they need to make sure that you can be supported as much as possible to learn and participate in College life.

You should provide evidence of your primary (main) disability and any other disabilities you have.

Preferred documents are:

  • Report from consultant/specialist
  • Educational Psychology report
  • Individual Education Plan (IEP)

Other documents you can submit are:

  • Occupational therapy report
  • Speech and language therapy report
  • Physiotherapy report
  • Clinical psychology report

Application Checklist

Your application should contain:

  • Form A: Student Application Form
  • Form B: Application Form for Schools
  • Evidence of Disability Documents

You can download an application checklist to submit with your application here: Application Checklist

You will need to send all of these documents by email or post.

Email Address:

Postal Address:

Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities,

4th floor,

3 College Green,

Dublin 2

You will be contacted within 2 weeks of the deadline to let you know if you will be invited to attend the interview day or not.

All interviews will take place on Tuesday 28th June 2016


Open Evening 2016-2018

22nd April 2016

We are delighted to announce we are having an Open Evening to introduce our new Course named ‘Arts, Science & Inclusive Applied Practice’ (formerly known as ‘the Certificate in Contemporary Living Course’). This will take place at The Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities, with details below:

Date: Tuesday May 17th 2016
Location: Room 4.02, 4th Floor, 3 College Green, Dublin 2
Time: 5.30 – 6.30pm

Application form will be available on the website following Open Evening. Please note that this course is pending accreditation approval.

RSVP’s should be sent to Ms Sheila Mc Groarty to confirm attendance on the Evening.

Going to College: Barriers and supports to participating in college life

08th March 2016

For full poster details, please click here

This past Michaelmas term was the first time in the history of TCD that students with intellectual disabilities registered with Disability Service and accessed some of the supports available to students with disabilities. Although this is an important first step towards ensuring equality and inclusivity of students with intellectual disabilities, current policies and procedures must be re-evaluated to ensure they are appropriately meeting the needs of students with intellectual disabilities to participate in university life.  The first step to this examination of perspectives and practice is to ask students with intellectual disabilities to reflect on their university experience and have them identify barriers and supports to attending college and participating in college life.  The students from the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities have been engaging in a participatory action research project where they have been examining the barriers and supports to participating in college life with a disability. Students have been key players in the data collection and analysis process of the research project and will be disseminating their research findings at this event.  This event will showcase the work of students and inform the extended college community on how best to support the inclusion of students with disabilities in university through policy and practice. 

Trinity Equality Fund Award 2015/2016

11th Feb 2016

The Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities has been selected as one of the recipients of the 2015/16 Trinity Equality Fund Awards. The awards provide funds to staff and students on a competitive basis for a variety of equality initiatives and aim to raise awareness on equality issues and promote diversity in Trinity. The award will be used to aid the staff and students of the Centre to undertake a videography project to showcase the inclusive learning that takes place at Trinity College.

Congratulations to our Sports Scholarships award winners!

27th Nov 2015

Top Left: Hugo Mc Neill with Maeve Phillips and Cathy Gibson

Top Right: Hugo Mc Neill with Fiachra Costello and Cathy Gibson

Congratulations to our sports scholars from Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities, Maeve Phillips and Fiacra Costello. Maeve & Fiacra received their awards from Mr. Hugo MacNeill who funded the scholarships for students from Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities at the annual Trinity Sports Scholarships Awards 2015/16. Further reading about the Sports scholarship award can be found on link below.

Dr John Kubiak has a new publication out in the INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEARNER DIVERSITY AND IDENTITIES. The article is titled: Researching Inclusively with College Students with Intellectual Disabilities

24th Nov 2015

Abstract: This paper reports on an inclusive research project which was conducted in one Irish higher education institution where a postsecondary educational (PSE) program is offered for students with intellectual disabilities (ID). A definition of inclusive research is presented and the current research project is placed within this framework with the roles of both participants (six co-researchers with ID) and sample (eighteen students with ID) outlined. This paper focuses on the processes of this collaboration and the benefits and challenges encountered. While the input and expertise of co-researchers were vital in providing guidance to the design and presentation of information on the research to their peers with ID, the participation of these students also involved risks. These included the identity shift that came with the role of co-researcher that was on occasions, problematic for co-researchers to navigate, and the inherent difficulties with the unequal power relationships between this current author and co-researchers. Despite these challenges however, it is concluded that the participation of these co-researchers with ID goes some way in addressing preconceived notions that come with the label of ID, and that the research field stands to benefit significantly from their involvement.

Launch of The Centre for Inclusion & Intellectual Disability 19th May 2015

20th May 2015

The Centre for Inclusion & Intellectual Disability Top Right: L-R: Prof. Mary McCarron, Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast, Dr Paula Flynn (Director), Dr Michael Shevlin, Vice Provost Prof. Linda Hogan, Ms Denise Kelly (NCCA) & Dr Carmel O'Sullivan.

L-R: Dr John Kubiak in conversation with graduates Mei Lin Yap, Margaret Turley & Tomás Murphy Top Right: Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast

L -R: Ms Sarah Johnston & Dr Paula Flynn Top Right: Dr. Carmel O'Sullivan

To celebrate the move of the National Institute for Intellectual Disability (NIID) to the School of Education following ten productive years as part of the School of Social Work and Social Policy, the School of Education is delighted to announce the formal launch of the newly re-designed Centre for Inclusion and Intellectual Disability, or ‘The Centre’ as it will be more commonly known. This celebratory event took place in The Paccar Theatre, Science Gallery, TCD, at 5 pm on Tuesday, 19th May. We are delighted that the Provost officially launched ‘The Centre’ in the company of students, graduates and family members, as well as staff from across college and representatives of business partnerships, whose consistent support is essential to promote pathways to employment for our graduates. A number of long term supporters of the NIID and colleagues from support services also attended the event including members of the former management committee. Full press release HERE

Congratulations to our CCL Student's with their sporting achievements

15th April 2015

From left; Fiachra Costello From Right: Maeve Philips

Trinity’s Swim scholar Maeve Phillips won bronze in the backstroke 50m and gold in the butterfly 25m at The European Down Syndrome Swimming Championships 2015 in Southampton. Maeve also claimed the European record, knocking 3 seconds off the previous record.  Fiachra Costello, Gaelic Football scholar also received a trophy for sportsperson of the year from his coach. Brilliant achievements all around!

Intake 2015 – 2016 Announcement

01st April 2015

We are pleased to announce that with the successful transition of the National Institute for Intellectual Disability to the School of Education, Trinity College Dublin, the Certificate in Contemporary Living Programme will be redeveloped over the next twelve months with the intention of situating the course on the National Framework of Qualifications. We look forward to introducing the newly conceptualised programme in September 2016,  however, this means that we will not take on a new cohort of students in September 2015. Further updates regarding our next Open Day in 2016 will be added to our website news page.

New Book 'Inclusive Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities'

26th March 2015

New Book Information:
A chapter entitled ‘Experiences of Learning: Students With Intellectual Disabilities in Higher Education in Ireland’ by John Kubiak and Michael Shevlin, has been included in the book  Inclusive Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities, A volume in International Advances in Education: Global Initiatives for Equity and Social Justice, (Series Editors: Elinor L. Brown, Rhonda G. Craven, and George F. McLean).

For more information please click here

CCL Students vist the Mansion House to meet the Lord Mayor of Dublin

26th March 2015

Certificate in Contemporary Living class 2014 - 2015

The Certificate in Contemporary Living students had a recent trip to the Mansion House to meet the Lord Mayor of Dublin. The CCL Students thoroughly enjoyed this outing. The trip was planned and organised by the St. Vincent de Paul club who run a social group with CCL students every Wednesday at lunchtime.

CCL Student Maeve Philips launches the Water Polo Intervarsity's competition

04th March 2015

Water Polo team with Maeve Philips

From left Brid Philips, Maeve Philips and Maura Gallahue

From Right Maeve Philips with Kevin Johnston

Our swimming scholar Maeve Philips launched the Water Polo Intervarsities Competition held in Trinity Sports Centre on Friday 30th January.
As it’s a combined swim/water polo club, Maeve and her family were invited to attend with Maeve throwing in the ball for the first game to start the tournament.
Also in attendance were members of the club committee along with Trinity’s water polo sports scholar, Kevin Johnston, and some representatives from various governing bodies.
Trinity went on to do the double at the Water Polo Intervarsities winning both men's & ladies finals. Well done to all involved.

CCL Students Fiachra Costello and Maeve Philips awarded Sports Scholarship

04th Dec 2014

From left; Fiachra Costello From Right: Maeve Philips

Two outstanding athletes from the National Institute for Intellectual Disability (NIID) were presented with the Trinity College Sports Scholarships at a ceremony last night in the Pavilion Bar. Fiachra Costello and Maeve Philips, who are both first year students on the Certificate in Contemporary Living (CCL), were awarded the first ever sport scholarships for students on the CCL programme.

Fiachra and Maeve were presented with their award by Trinity’s Head of Sport and Recreation Michelle Tanner as well as former Irish rugby international Hugo MacNeill who has been a champion of the NIID for many years.

Fiachra was awarded his award for Gaelic Football and is currently training and playing on the college Fresher’s team.  Maeve is a keen swimmer and a Special Olympian. Maeve is hoping to qualify for next year’s World Games in Los Angeles. Watch this space!

Congratulations to both recipients of this year’s inaugural NIID Sports Scholarships awardees who are the first CCL students to have the honour of representing the University. We hope they will aspire to even greater successes in their retrospective sporting ambitions.

Congratulations CCL Graduates 2014!

26th Nov 2014

Students of the Certificate in Contemporary Living (CCL) - a course for people with intellectual disability - graduated at a ceremony in the Public Theatre on Friday, November 14th. The sixteen students who were awarded their certificates are now the seventh cohort to graduate from this pioneering and innovative Trinity programme.
The CCL allows people with an intellectual disability an opportunity to experience tertiary education and the richness of life as a college student. There are three aspects to the CCL programme - academic learning, personal growth and career development.  The programme provides support through taught sessions, careers advice, work placements and personal planning to enable individuals to gain in independence and receive recognition for their achievements. The certificate course has been recognised nationally and is beginning to gain international recognition for its innovative commitment to inclusion.
Commenting on the significance of the achievement of CCL graduates, course co-ordinator Dr John Kubiak said: “Since 2008, over one hundred students have graduated from the course. A number of them are in employment while others are pursuing education or training opportunities.  Every one of them is a role model and an ambassador for the CCL and their experiences and achievements will inspire future students.”
CCL Graduate Clare Knox was the recipient of the annual Margaret McLoughlin Student Prize. The prize was established in the National Institute for Intellectual Disability (NIID) by a generous gift from the McLoughlin family and friends and was presented to Clare by Joan McLoughlin at a reception in the NIID after the graduation ceremony.

Pic 1: Clare Knox winner of the Margaret McLoughlin student prize

Pic 2: CCL graduates Kevin Buckley, Dylan Joyce and Conall O’Hobain

Pic 3: CCL group

Pic 4: Joan Mc Loughlin and prize winner Clare Knox

Welcome first year Certificate in Contemporary Living Students 2014 - 2015!

28th Oct 2014

The NIID welcomed a group of new first year students who officially began their CCL journey in Trinity College on September 23rd. Students were delighted to discover all of what Trinity has to offer, including tours of the campus, library and sports centre. One of the highlights including the collection of the coveted Trinity student card!

Paula, a first year student, reflected on her  first week in Trinity as she starts her next chapter in college:

“I met so many new friends on my first week in Trinity College. I felt so excited on my first week in Trinity College. I enjoyed my first week in Trinity College.
I went to the library on the Trinity campus. I enjoyed it. I felt so happy going home on my last day. I was tired. My highlight was going to the Trinity College campus for my lunch and to get my student card. I feel so happy to be a student in Trinity College now. My wish has come true.” Paula

For all of our students reflections on their new and exciting next phase, please see below or read more on what the CCL Students had to say about their experience of starting in Trinity.

We hope your Trinity experience can be a time for you to frame your ambitions, heighten your expectations, and place yourself on the path to realising your highest aspirations.

To view older news stories, please see our news archive

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Last updated 12 July 2016 by (Email).