Launch of Learning Disrupted Report

2 Sep 2022
Eoin Kelly, Area Manager with the National Learning Network (NLN) Cork

On 2nd September 2022, ISS21 and the National Learning Network hosted an event to launch the report Learning Disrupted: Young People with Disabilities’ Access to and Experiences of Learning and Workplace-based Training during COVID-19.

The report is based on research that explored the challenges that faced young people and service providers in transitioning to online learning and training during lockdown, and the potential of virtual technologies to enable greater flexibility in how people with disabilities participate in education and employment beyond the pandemic.

The study:

  • Highlights the significant stresses, anxiety and social isolation which COVID-19 created for young people, and the challenges that came with the transition to online learning, including lack of suitable spaces to study and sustaining social interaction in online spaces.
  • Illustrates the potential of online technologies to open up spaces previously closed to people with disabilities, including workplaces. Recognising virtual technologies as part of a holistic and flexible approach to vocational training and education.
  • Calls for greater equity of access to technology for people with disabilities and for employers to develop infrastructure and skills to enable blended (face to face and virtual) work-based training.

The research was funded by the Irish Research Council’s New Foundations Scheme 2021. Further details on the project are available here

Speakers at the launch were: Dr. Claire Edwards and Dr. Gill Harold (report authors), School of Applied Social Studies and ISS21; Eoin Kelly, Area Manager, National Learning Network Cork; and Roslin Treacy, Vocational Training Instructor, NLN Cork.  

The event was chaired by Professor Máire Leane, School of Applied Social Studies.

A recording of the presentations is available here

For more on this story contact:

Dr Claire Edwards (


Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

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