Supports for Students

Supports for Blind/Vision Impaired Students

The DSS has an advisor specifically to support students who are Blind or Vision Impaired. Michelle O Halloran is the staff member assigned to support Blind and Vision Impaired students and is available to meet current and prospective students to address any concerns or answer any queries the students may have.

As an advisor, Michelle‚Äôs role is to meet and register the Vision Impaired student with the Disability Support Service.  Once a student is registered a needs assessment is carried out and this will determine the academic support the student will need in 3rd Level.  The objective of the programme is to provide appropriate supports that will empower students who have a Vision Impairment and enable them to achieve their academic potential while in UCC.

Students can avail of the supports listed below if they have been agreed as part of the needs assessment carried out early in the academic year.

For more information please contact Michelle on:

Tel: +353 (0)21 4903422

Alternative Exam Arrangements

End of Semester Examinations

Students with disabilities may avail of alternative exam arrangements if this support is deemed necessary as part of the student’s needs assessment.

Any examination support which may be required by an individual student must be agreed, as part of a needs assessment with a Disability Advisor early in the academic year. You are advised to meet your advisor to discuss your needs.

Alternative examinations arrangements for end of semester 1 exams must be finalised early October each academic year and for end of Semester 2 exams, arrangements need to be finalised by the end of January . Arrangements cannot be made/changed after these dates.


In Class Examinations

If you have in class examinations during the course of the semester, you may be able to use the exam arrangements granted to you for these exams, although arrangements are generally not put in place for MCQ exams. Please complete the In-Class Exams Form a week ahead of the scheduled exam and return it to your Disability Advisor. Late applicaitons unfortunately cannot be processed.

In-Term Exams Form (191kB)


Supports for Blind and Vision Impaired Students may include:

Extra time:

  • 10 minutes per hour
  • 20 minutes per hour

Exam paper:

  • Magnified
  • Electronic


  • Separate room
  • Shared room
  • Laptop with specialised software
  • CCTV

Alternative Media Format

If a student cannot read print material as a result of their visual impairment this material can be made available in an alternative media format (AMF), examples that are currently available include

  • Files in electronic formats such as Word document, PDF document or ePUB
  • Audio  - Mp3 or Wav
  • Braille

Mobility Training

Mobility training is provided at the beginning of the Academic Year to enable Blind and Vision Impaired students to safely and independently navigate the campus.  Priority is initially given to

  • Campus Accommodation
  • Lecture venues
  • The Boole Library
  • Campus Restaurants

Once a student is comfortable with these routes where possible they may then begin to look at the:

  • Mardyke Arena
  • Venues for Clubs & Societies
  • General Campus layout


An On-Campus Transport Service operates daily from:

Monday to Thursday      8:30am to 10:00am and 3:45pm to 6:15pm

Friday                            8:30am to  12:00am 

An accessible bus facilitates students commuting to and from their campus apartments to College. 

Students not living in Campus accommodation may avail of Transport support provided they have the appropriate medical verification. 

Educational Assistant

An Educational Assistant will support a student who needs access to course material that they cannot source independently. Typically Educational Assistants will work with students around:

  • sourcing library books
  • scanning material
  • converting material to alternative media format
  • accessing and converting material on Blackboard 


The role of a Notetaker is to record an accurate and detailed copy of the content delivered in lectures for a student. The notes are then emailed to the student within 48 hours of the lecture.

Note taking support is only available if no appropriate assistive technology is available. Students are encouraged to use Panopto recordings for their lectures.

Applying for Funding


The Fund for Students with Disabilities

The Fund for Students with Disabilities allocates funding to further and higher education colleges for the provision of services and supports to full-time students with disabilities. The Fund aims to ensure that students can participate fully in their academic programmes and are not disadvantaged by reason of a disability.

Eligible students can receive assistance from the Fund from PLC level right up to doctoral level. You do not have to be in first year of a course to be eligible to apply for the Fund. Application for the first time can be made during any year of study on an approved course at further or higher education level.

Applications to the Fund are made on behalf of an eligible student by their college following an assessment of need. Applications cannot be made directly to the Fund by students. Colleges are also responsible for the management of the funding approved for eligible students.Applicants to the Fund for Students with Disabilities are not means-tested. A minimum age for application applies, however. Students with disabilities enrolled in part-time courses, access or foundation courses in higher education institutions or short courses are not eligible for consideration under the Fund.

For more information please click here 

Student Assistance Fund

The Student Assistance Fund provides financial assistance for full-time higher education students who are experiencing financial difficulties whilst attending college. The Student Assistance Fund provides a further source of funding for higher education students in addition to the Student Grant. Please note that due to the high demand expected for the fund, the amounts awarded may vary downwards from previous years.

Further information and advice is available at the following website:

If you are encountering financial difficulty, please contact the Budgetary Advisor, Evan Healy

Disability Support Service

Seirbhís Tacaíochta do Dhaoine faoi Mhíchumas

South Lodge, UCC, College Road, Cork