Trinity strives to make its physical environment, information and activities as accessible as possible so that all students and staff can reach their full potential.
The Forum for Disabled Staff and Postgraduate Students in Trinity College Dublin provides a voice for disability equality within the University. It offers disabled people an opportunity to meet new people, share experiences, and act to inform and enhance institutional policy. The Forum has been established and is run by disabled staff and Ph.D. researchers, supported by the EDI Unit. The Forum takes a very relaxed and open approach and you do not have to disclose your disability. The Forum has a large membership from across the University.
Established in March 2020, the Forum has already had a significant impact, resulting in the appointment of a Disability Officer from the Forum membership to the Graduate Students’ Union. It has presented to the Equality Committee a range of issues affecting disabled people in the College leading to an agreement to form a Sub-Group of the Equality Committee the Staff Disability Working Group. The Forum holds a range of events throughout the year decided by its membership. Events so far have included themes such as:
- Barriers and enablers to engagement in the TCD community
- Supports available for disabled Ph.D. students
- Ableism and academia
The organisation of these events has been supported by a range of different departments and individuals from across the institution with an interest, lived experience, or expertise in disability equality.
On Friday 3rd December 2021 the Forum launched a new report – Ableism in Academia in Ireland – to mark International Day for Persons with Disabilities. The report paints a picture of the under-representation of disabled people in academic employment in Ireland and underlines that those employed face a number of significant hurdles linked to ableism. The report will act as a catalyst for further discussion and action within academia and inform developments at the national level involving the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation, and Science. The report was launched at an online event where a panel of experts discussed the report and the theme for 2021 International Day for Persons with Disabilities – Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-Covid-19 world.
You can read the report here.
If you require the report in formats other than a PDF please email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also view an edited recording of the Ableism in Academia online seminar from 17 August 2021 organised and hosted by the Forum.
Monthly Social Event
The forum also hosts a “Virtual Tea” on the first Friday of each month from 11 – 11.30 am. This is an informal get-together that allows people to get to know each other and have a chat. This is a great way to decide if this group is for you and allows you to dip in and out as you choose. You are expected to bring a cup of tea or coffee and plenty of chat!
Join our mailing list
If you would like to be kept updated about our events, please join our mailing list.
The forum was established by Vivian Rath, a Ph.D. researcher, and disabled person, having approached the Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and the EDI Unit.
If you would like more information about the Forum, want to join our mailing list, or become actively involved please email email@example.com.
When the Ph.D. journey gave me lemons, I made the best of lemonade- insights from Dr. Vivian Rath
A keynote address from the 2021 School of Education PGR conference by Dr. Vivian Rath, a Ph.D. graduate of the School of Education. Dr. Rath gives an insight into his Ph.D. journey as a student with a disability.
The Disability Service aims to develop clear and effective support systems at all stages in the student journey from college entrance to graduation to employment.
If a physical, sensory, or learning disability or a medical or mental health condition interferes with your ability to achieve your academic and personal goals, then the staff at the Disability Service may be able to help you. They can be contacted...
- by Phone: (01) 896 3111
- by Text / SMS (for Deaf Students): 086 3442322
- by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Disability Service website is the best source of information about disability-related matters in Trinity, and you can search their website for a specific topic with this handy A-Z function.
Trinity Ability co_op is a cooperative movement by students with disabilities towards radical inclusion on campus. Led by a team of nine students with disabilities, the co-op works in partnership with Trinity's Disability Service to ensure that inclusion is a priority in Trinity.
To find out more, connect with the Ability co-op via any of the following channels:
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ability-Co_op-108998600831478
- Instagram: @abilityco_op
- Twitter: @abilitycoop
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trinity-ability-co-op-9a20981ab/
- Website: www.abilitycoop.com
You can read more about the Ability co-op’s mission and goals by clicking this link.
The Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities, part of the School of Education, promotes inclusion for people with intellectual disability through education, research and pathways to employment.
The Centre offers a course in Arts, Science and Inclusive Applied Practice which is a specially designed third-level programme aimed at supporting students as they make transitions towards independence, lifelong learning and employment.
The Centre for Deaf Studies is based in the School of Linguistics, Speech and Communication Sciences. Trinity is the only university in Ireland to offer a bachelor's degree in Deaf Studies.
The Centre aims to increase the number of qualified Irish Sign Language / English interpreters, ensuring that Deaf people are actively involved in society. Students also have the option of studying related areas such as education, linguistics, psychology, and cultural studies, and may progress to a master's or PhD programme.
The College Health Centre offers student consultations free of charge with modest charges for additional services, and it also caters for staff on a fee-per-item basis.
Students experiencing mental health difficulties or conditions are encouraged to contact the Student Counselling Service and/or the S2S Peer support service, while staff members are encouraged to make use of the Employee Assistance Programme, which is a free counselling service for Trinity staff.
Enabled parking spots, enabled toilets, and hearing loops are marked on the interactive College map. The Disability Service website also provides information on the physical accessibility of all College buildings. If you have specific needs for accessing a Trinity facility or building, please don't hesitate to contact the Disability Service.
Good accessibility practice makes university activities more accessible and enjoyable for everyone, including people with disabilities, older people and people whose first language is not English. Don't wait until you know there is a student with a disability in your class, or a staff member with a disability coming to your event, before considering accessibility.
Trinity has a comprehensive Accessible Information Policy, which all staff is expected to implement in their communications (documents, webpages, presentations, etc.). Compliance with this policy assists everyone, but particularly members of our community who have hearing or visual impairments.
The Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Project provides a detailed practical guide to presenting information in an accessible way, as well as guidelines and resources on inclusive teaching, assessment, and supervision.
- Provide information on time (or in advance of classes) to allow for differing preparation needs
- Use a sans serif font such as Calibri or Source Sans Pro - not Times New Roman
- Make your font size 12 or above in documents, or size 24 in slideshow presentations
- Use headings/styles in Word – this also makes formatting much quicker for the author
- Add captions/subtitles to video and audio content
Events aimed at students, staff, or the general public should be as accessible as possible. The key tips here are to hold the event in a physically-accessible venue (click here for accessibility details of all campus venues), and to include an accessibility statement on all event communications (emails, posters, webpages, etc.). An example of an accessibility statement could be, "Please inform us of any accessibility requirements you may have so that we can facilitate you in attending this event". This will allow prospective attendees to let you know what their requirements are in advance - for this reason, it is important to publicise events as early as possible (at least two weeks before the event).
More detailed guidelines can be found at the Disability Service Event Checker. Also, College Maps have a feature in the upper left-hand corner that allows you to check the location of a number of accessible services including enabled toilets and hearing aid loops.
The Equality Policy and the Dignity and Respect Policy protect all members of the University community from discrimination, bullying, and harassment; this includes discrimination, bullying, and/or harassment relating to disability. Don't hesitate to contact the Equality Officer or the Dignity and Respect Contact Persons (listed in the policy) for advice on these matters.
Trinity's Strategic Plan (2020-2025) contains strategic objectives relating specifically to people with disabilities, including a commitment to "Engage the wider university community in empowering students with disabilities."
The Disability Service maintains a useful list of disability-related policies and procedures.
Trinity is required under the Disability Act to maintain a target of at least 3% of staff to be people with disabilities. Staff members are asked each year to declare whether or not they have a disability, and this information is used to collate an anonymous statistical report to the Higher Education Authority (HEA).
The Employment Equality Act 1998 outlaws discrimination within employment related to nine grounds including disability; the Equal Status Act 2000 also outlaws discrimination on the basis of disability, covering access to goods and services (including education). The acts have a broad definition of "disability" which includes physical disability, intellectual disability, learning disability, and certain mental health issues or medical conditions.
In relation to disability, discrimination can include failure to provide "reasonable accommodation" or take "appropriate measures" to ensure a person's access to goods/services/employment. Reasonable accommodation means providing specific treatment or facilities (so long as these don't exceed a "nominal cost" or impose a "disproportionate burden") to make sure that people with disabilities can avail of goods, services, employment, etc.
The Disability Act 2005 includes a number of positive action measures designed to advance participation by people with disabilities in everyday life. The purpose of the provisions relating to public bodies (e.g. Trinity) is to ensure integrated access to public buildings, information, and services for people with and without disabilities. The Act also provides for complaints procedures.
Please see our legislation webpages for further information.
- National Disability Authority (NDA)
- Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI)
- Enable Ireland
- Inclusion Ireland
- Association for Higher Education Access and Disability (AHEAD)
Organisations for Common Disabilities among Trinity Students