Okay, so you want to be a doctor, actor, or engineer but you’re afraid that your migraine has disrupted things so badly that you may not achieve as high a score as you would have without the disorder. ‘It’s not fair’, you think to yourself as you see your classmates who don’t suffer cheerfully mapping out their future careers. Don’t despair, this may not be as much of a problem as you think. I mentioned Access College and Ahead above.
They are two organisations which work with students with disabilities, and if you fit the criteria they can help you to access your preferred college and course with reduced points or special needs if necessary. Sometimes they can make up the difference with points, e.g. if you need 315 points but you only get 300 in the leaving cert, DARE may be able to make up the extra 15 points, depending on your application.
The DARE Programme – “Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a third level alternative admissions scheme for school-leavers whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their second level education. DARE offers reduced points places to school leavers who as a result of having a disability have experienced additional educational challenges in second level education.” http://accesscollege.ie/
DARE has a long list of disabilities but they are not limited to what’s on this list. We know of one case where a student who suffers from migraine applied through DARE and succeeded in getting their course as well as on-campus accommodation. Have a look at their website and talk through the options with your parents and teachers well in advance. Knowing that this is out there can help to lighten your burden and reduce the worry about what’s ahead.
Ahead – “AHEAD, the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability is an independent non-profit organisation working to promote full access to and participation in further and higher education for students with disabilities and to enhance their employment prospects on graduation.” http://www.ahead.ie/
Ahead has sections for people who are looking to go to college, in college, looking for work, and for teachers, lecturers and other professionals who work in the college environment. There are links for employers too, and tips on how to approach an employer regarding your disability, as well as legal information. They have links to several organisations and website that might offer tips and information about getting where you want to go, despite your disability.