Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search



You are here Supports & Resources > Autism Supports > Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Disability Service do?

The Disability Service provides reasonable accommodations to assist students to manage disability during their time in university. Reasonable accommodations (also referred to as supports) are actions that can be taken to alleviate disadvantage. This can include modifying the delivery of your course, making adaptations such as allowing extra time in exams, and providing additional resources such as access to class notes in advance. Reasonable accommodations are decided on a case-by-case basis, depending on what each individual student needs. A needs assessment with a Disability Officer is used to determine the reasonable accommodations a student will avail of. For more information on reasonable accommodations please click here.

What autism supports can the Disability Service provide?

There are a wide range of supports available through the Disability Service, and these are determined based on individual need rather than by disability type. For a full list of the supports available please click here. Our Disability Specific Guide details some of the commonly used autism supports that students avail of and is available by clicking here.

Are there any Autism groups in Trinity?

The Disability Service offers a weekly autism group. This group creates a space for students to connect socially with others in the autism community at Trinity and to discuss participation in the daily tasks and activities involved in the student role. For more information and to register your interest in attending the group please click here or contact group coordinator Clare Malone by email at malonec6@tcd.ie.

How do I access the Disability Service?

Students can access disability service supports by completing an application for reasonable accommodations on the my.tcd.ie portal. For more information and a step-by-step guide to completing the application please click here. If you would like assistance with completing the application or have questions that you would like to ask before applying you can contact the Disability Service by email at askds@tcd.ie or by booking a drop-in appointment. Please click here for further information on booking a drop-in.

What happens after I apply for supports?

Once you have successfully completed your online application for reasonable accommodations a Disability Officer will make contact with you by email to arrange a needs assessment meeting.

What is a needs assessment?

A needs assessment is a meeting that takes place with your Disability Officer to determine what reasonable accommodations you require. Your Disability Officer will ask you about the nature of your course, aspects of your course or student role that you are experiencing challenges with, any supports or accommodations you may have used in the past and who you might wish to disclose information about your needs to (such as your course, lecturers and tutor).

Your Disability Officer will then discuss the available supports and you can agree together what accommodations you would like to avail of. By the end of your needs assessment meeting you and your Disability Officer will draft a Learning Educational Needs Summary (LENS) report, which details the reasonable accommodations to be implemented. If necessary, and with your permission, your Disability Officer will share your LENS report with your academic department

How do I contact a Disability Officer?

You can contact the Disability Service by emailing askds@tcd.ie, or by booking a drop-in appointment to speak with a Disability Officer directly. Please click here for further information on booking a drop-in. You will find more information about the Disability Service team and details of how to contact staff by clicking here to see staff profiles.

What is Occupational Therapy and how do I access this?

Occupational Therapists work with individuals to promote health and well-being through occupation. Occupational therapists use the term occupation to describe all the things you do as a student and have an understanding of factors, such as disability, that impact people's ability to do the day-to-day things that are important for them. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable you to participate in the activities of everyday life as a student.

Occupational Therapists can work with students across a wide variety of areas, including adapting to life as a university student, managing routine, participating in social and leisure activities, managing academic work, skills for living away from home and navigating specific student tasks like group projects. Your Disability Officer can arrange for you to meet with an Occupational Therapist, or you can make an enquiry by emailing askds@tcd.ie. For more information about occupational therapy please click here.

What is Specialist Academic Support and how do I access this?

Specialist Academic Support provides assistance with managing your academic demands. This involves one-to-one meetings to explore areas such as planning your academic workload and study scheduling, essay-writing skills, exam preparation techniques, strategies for academic reading and writing, and using online and technology resources to enhance your learning. Your Disability Officer can arrange for you to meet with an Academic Support Specialist, or you can make an enquiry by emailing askds@tcd.ie. Please click here for more information on specialist academic support.

What is Assistive Technology and how do I access this?

The main function of Assistive Technology (AT) is to provide helpful information and support on how you can get the best use out of technology by adapting it to your study needs. AT is defined as "any use of technology which helps you perform a task more easily". AT is a broad field ranging from the use of very simple technology, such as your mobile phone e-mail, to the very complex, such as use of voice recognition software or technology that reads information from your computer screen for you. For more information on Assistive Technology, including the types of technology on offer please click here. Your Disability Officer can arrange for you to have an Assistive Technology assessment, or you can make an enquiry by emailing askds@tcd.ie.

What is a LENS report?

A LENS (Learning Educational Needs Summary) Report is a document that includes details of the reasonable accommodations a student is availing of in college. An individualised LENS Report is created with your Disability Officer when you meet for a needs assessment. For more information about the LENS Report please click here.

Will my course and my lecturers know about my needs?

Your Disability Officer will discuss sharing information about your disability needs with you as part of your needs assessment to determine what level of disclosure is necessary and what you are comfortable with. With your formal permission your Disability Officer may share a copy of your LENS report with your academic department and with your tutor following your needs assessment. It’s important to note that it is the decision of each individual student to share information about their disability.