Inclusive Education & Employment Pathways
UCC’s achievements in challenging deficit-focused perceptions of people with intellectual disabilities were profiled in an Impact Case Study submitted to the HEA. The Certificate in Contemporary Living was established as a pilot project supported by the Brothers of Charity, Cope Foundation and Enable Ireland. It was designed to meet the needs for non-segregated, inclusive post-secondary education for people with intellectual disabilities and was recognised as a model of good practice. The two-year, part-time programme based in the School of Applied Social Studies and part of the programme offering of the Centre for Adult and Continuing Education (ACE) at UCC, graduated over 100 students between 2009 and 2020.
Funding of €1,000,000 was awarded based on the case study. This funding will support a new Inclusive Education and Employment Pathways Project that aims to develop rights-based, inclusive education programmes for PWID which:
a) provide mutually beneficial learning synergies between students with and without disabilities,
b) enable PWID to develop skills for future learning and employment,
c) build capacity in inclusive education across the HEI sector.
This project acknowledges and scaffolds the right of people with intellectual disabilities (PWID) to access inclusive postsecondary education. Drawing on international best practice in inclusive education, the project will:
- challenge deficit-focused perceptions of PWID;
- provide university- based, co-learning opportunities for students with and without ID;
- upskill PWID with meaningful employment related skills;
- transition PWID into employment internships and/or further training;
- develop capacity in inclusive teaching, learning and assessment across the HEI sector;
- develop curricular and training resources in inclusive education for dissemination across the HEI sector.
The project has will be delivered through a number of interrelated workstreams and will complement a broader suite of initiatives in UCC around the area of digital inclusion.
The project will commence in January 2021 and we look forward to sharing more information on the project at that time.