Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (255)

Mattie McGrath


255. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there are special grants available for transport to and from third level education where a student has a physical disability and is unable to find suitable accommodation near the college; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30231/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD) provides funding to both further and higher education institutions for the provision of services and supports for 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.

A claim under the Fund is 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.

There are three types of assistance typically provided under the Fund for Students with Disabilities:

- Assistive Technology Equipment and Software;

- Personal and Academic Support; and

- Transport.

The Fund for Students with Disabilities is managed by the HEA on behalf of my Department. The student in question can contact the disability or access officer in his institution for information on the Fund for Students with Disabilities. Further details of the services and supports which are funded can be found on www.studentfinance.ie.