The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) through its network of local Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs) is responsible for processing applications from schools for special educational needs supports. SENOs also make recommendations to my Department where assistive technology/specialised equipment is required. The NCSE operates within my Department's criteria in making recommendations for support, which is set out in my Department's Circular 0010/2013.
In order to qualify for equipment under the assistive technology scheme, a student must have been diagnosed with a physical or communicative disability and must also have a recommendation in a professional assessment that the equipment is essential in order to allow the student to access the curriculum. It must also be clear that the existing I.T. equipment in the school is insufficient to meet the child's needs.
The school where the child referred to by the Deputy attends, has previously been sanctioned an Assistive Technology grant under the terms of Circular 10/2013 for the child in question towards the purchase of a Laptop and a Laptop bag.
No further application for Assistive Technology has been received for the child in question.
Should the parent be dissatisfied with the manner in which the Assistive Technology which have been approved to support the child's education is being applied in school, they should raise this matter directly with their school Principal or the Board of Management of the school.
The local SENO is also available to discuss any concerns that parents have about the educational needs of their child. All schools have the contact details of their local SENO. Contact details are also available on the NCSE website at www.ncse.ie.