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In UCC, students with disabilities, whether or not they enter university through the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) scheme, may register with the Disability Support Service (https://www.ucc.ie/en/dss/). Services offered include access to assistive technology, educational support workers, and information for academic staff in disability awareness.
There are various Acts that address access to employment, goods and services and public bodies by people with disabilities: the Disability Act, the Employment Equality Acts and the Equal Status Acts.
The IHREC provides clear and comprehensive summaries of responsibilities or employers and providers of goods and services in their ‘Guides and Tools’ section on their website: https://www.ihrec.ie/guides-and-tools/
Obligations of public bodies under the Disability Act include the following:
- A public body shall ensure that its public buildings are, as far as practicable, accessible to persons with disabilities.
- Where a service is provided by a public body, the head of the body shall where practicable and appropriate, ensure that the provision of access to the service by persons with and persons without disabilities is integrated; provide for assistance, if requested, to persons with disabilities in accessing the service if the head is satisfied that such provision is necessary, and where appropriate, ensure the availability of persons with appropriate expertise and skills to give advice to the body about the means of ensuring that the service provided by the body is accessible to persons with disabilities.
- Where a service is provided to a public body, the head of the body shall ensure, as far as practicable, that the service is accessible to persons with disabilities.
- Where a public body communicates with one or more persons, the head of the body shall ensure if the communication is an oral one and the person or persons aforesaid has a hearing impairment and so requests, or if the communication is a written one and the person or persons aforesaid has a visual impairment and so requests, that, as far as practicable, the contents of the communication are communicated in a form that is accessible to the person concerned.
- A public body shall in so far as practicable take all reasonable measures to promote and support the employment by it of persons with disabilities.