HEAR And DARE Schemes – What are they? How can they help? (Pt 1)

Having a disability can have a negative impact on your school work, reducing your chances of getting into university. Students coming from a background where nobody in their family ever went to university, or where there is no wage coming into the house are less likely to go to university.

So what can be done about it? Over 2 blog posts, we look at the DARE and HEAR schemes to see what they have to offer and how they might support students with disabilities or that come from disadvantaged backgrounds. We start with DARE.


What is DARE?
The Disability Access Route To Education (DARE) aims to help school leavers under 23yrs, who have a disability that negatively impacts on their education.

If you meet the application criteria, you might get offered a place on your preferred course with reduced points

While on a course you might receive other academic, personal or social supports to help with study in University. This is something universities offer any students with a disability.

How do I apply for DARE?
Apply to CAO by 1 Feb 2016 (Note – DARE is for CAO support, not PLC) indicating that you wish to participate in the DARE scheme

By 1st March 2016 you can disclose the particulars of your disability or learning difficulty using a Supplementary Information Form (SIF)

By 1st April 2016 download and complete Sections B and C of the SIF for your Educational Impact Statement and Evidence of Disability

How do I know if I’m eligible?
You need to be able to provide evidence of your disability
You need to be to meet the ‘Educational Impact’ criteria

What are the eligible disabilities and how do I provide evidence?
• Autistic Spectrum Disorders (including Asperger’s Syndrome)
• Blind / Vision Impaired
• Deaf / Hard of Hearing
• DCD – Dyspraxia/Dysgraphia
• Mental Health Condition
• Neurological Condition (Incl. Brain Injury & Epilepsy,)
• Speech & Language Communication Disorder
• Significant Ongoing Illness
• Physical Disability
• Specific Learning Difficulty (Dyslexia & Dyscalculia)

There is different documentation needed for different disabilities. The DARE website has a complete guide to providing evidence of disability which lists different disabilities, with the type of documentation sought, and who you should be getting it from.

dare eleigibility

What does Educational Impact mean, and how do I provide evidence?
To show that a disability has negatively impacted on your education, you need to be able to say YES to TWO of the following;
1. On your Learning or Exam Results?
2. On your Attendance or regularly Disrupted your school day?
3. Has it affected your School Experience and Well-being?
4. Have you received Intervention or Supports?
5. Has it affected your homework and study Time?
6. Has it caused any other Educational Impact?
7. If you have a Specific Learning Difficulty, is it severely impacting on your literacy or numeracy skills?
If you believe there has been an impact on your education, then you will be asked to complete a form with an impact statement where you provide any information you feel is relevant.

You will also need to get your school to complete parts of the form, including details of supports that may have been in place while you were in secondary school. The form can be downloaded from the Access College website

Startup Stock Photos

Help and support is available in all Universities

Anything else I should know?
There is plenty of support and advice available if you want to check you are doing things right. All colleges have a staff member who can advise on the DARE Applications. The CAO Helpdesk can help.
We in the youth information service can help with applications
And of course there are the DARE advice clinics held in various venues around the country on Saturday January 16th 2016.
The DARE website has plenty of support documents and forms available to download – we’ve linked to them below for your benefit.

Financial support is available through the SUSI system, but that is totally separate from DARE and has its own criteria based around household incomes and progression through the education system.

DARE Application Guide

Important Changes to DARE

Guide to Providing Evidence of your Disability

Educational Impact Statement

Evidence of Disability Form

DARE application checklist


One thought on “HEAR And DARE Schemes – What are they? How can they help? (Pt 1)

  1. Pingback: HEAR & DARE schemes 2017 | YouthSPIN in Co Wicklow

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