Further Education

Our Further Education Programmes aim to empower school leavers and adults with Down syndrome to achieve their full potential. They aim to develop a broad range of skills – social, life, literacy and numeracy. Developing independence and enhancing employability are integral to our programmes. 

Up until this year, our Adult Education courses have been run in our branches or online. We are in the process of transitioning from courses being run in branches, to being run in ETBs (Education Training Boards). This will mean that members will no longer have to pay and fundraise for these courses.

ETBs that will be running courses in 2022 for adults with Down syndrome include – City of Dublin ETBWaterford and Wexford ETBLouth and Meath ETBGalway and Roscommon ETBLongford and WestMeath ETBCavan and Monaghan ETB | Tipperary ETBCDETB Adult Education Finglas.

For further information, you can contact:  

 

Here is a list of some branches that run Adult Education courses. You can find their contact information for more details here on when courses are availableLimerick | Cork | KildareLouth-Meath Kerry.

 

Funding from SOLAS enables us to work in partnership with SOLAS and ETBs (Education and Training Boards) to support increased participation of learners with Down syndrome in local Further Education provision. It enables us to increase awareness of Further Education opportunities and pathways among school leavers/adults. We now have the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise from our experience of developing and delivering structured Further Education courses for adults with Down syndrome, as well as supporting SOLAS and the ETBI with disability awareness across the Further Education sector. Funding from SOLAS also enables us to increase links with adults with Down syndrome and their families to ensure that their voices are heard and their needs considered and addressed in the Further Education system.

Ultimately, it helps us empower people with Down syndrome to achieve their full potential. 

 

Down Syndrome Ireland In-person programmes include: 

 

Latch-On – Literacy and Technology Hands On 

This 2-year literacy programme is run by some branches and some ETB Colleges of Further Education. For more details please click the plus sign to read about Latch-On below. 

  • Find out more about Latch-On

    Literacy & Technology Hands-On (Latch-On) is a two-year literacy programme for adults with Down syndrome, which provides opportunities for adults to commence and continue their literacy development. Latch-On was developed at the University of Queensland, Australia.  

    The programme content is designed to allow the students opportunities to access literacy in all its forms from viewing through to reading and writing. 

      

    What areas/subjects does the programme cover?  

    The programme is made up of four modules. 

    Starting a Journey of Self Discovery looks at topics that students are generally familiar with, for example, pets, family, growing up. 

    Beyond Self and into the Community looks at the students’ interests such as music, sport and film. 

    Reaching Out into the World has a wider focus with students learning about topics such as advertising, world landmarks and museums. 

    Taking on the World focuses on practical tasks such as budgeting, planning a dinner party and the world of work. 

    Students will also have the opportunity to use technology during the course and learn how to email, text and access information online. There is also a numeracy component which introduces students to basic concepts such as same and different, sizes and prepositions. 

    There are opportunities to go on trips to local places of interest.  The course culminates in a graduation ceremony at the end of the second year. 

    You can also download and read the Latch-On programme overview which outlines all the key area’s that the programme works towards and this Latch-On family perspective guide, which gives a breakdown of the key learning outcomes for students. 

      

    Are there any requirements for the programme? 

    There is no minimum literacy requirement to begin this course and all levels including emergent learners are catered for. 

    There is a maximum number of twelve students in the class and the lessons are taught by a teacher and two classroom assistants. 

      

    Where is the programme taught? 

    Latch-On programmes are run across the country at various locations, in some branches and some ETB Further Education Colleges across Ireland.  

     

    When does the programme run? 

    The programme usually begins mid-September and runs for thirty-two weeks each year. 

    It is usually for 2 days a week, over 2 years. 

      

    Who can I contact for further information? 

    You can contact: 

     

     

MOTE (My Opinion My Vote)  

This 1- or 2-year programme explores the political process and the importance of opinion, vote and involvement. For more details please click the plus sign to read about MOTE below.

  • Find out more about MOTE - My Opinion My Vote 

    My Opinion, My Vote (MOTE) is a European Project which aims to empower people with learning disabilities through active citizenship and participation in political elections.  

    The students are taught about the political process and how their opinion, vote and involvement in politics matter. Among the many topics that are covered are, local government, referenda and the process of elections. 

    Students are educated about their political rights and encouraged to form and express an informed opinion and decision during local, national and European elections and referenda. 

    The aim is to encourage people with learning difficulties to actively engage with the political decisions that will ultimately affect them. 

     

    What areas/subjects does the programme cover? 

    The programme covers 10 units: 

    • Unit 1: Forming a Personal and Independent Opinion 
    • Unit 2: What is Politics? 
    • Unit 3: Delegation and Representation 
    • Unit 4: Participation in Associations, political parties and trade unions 
    • Unit 5: Political Parties and Electoral Programmes 
    • Unit 6: Voting Procedures, Electoral Lists 
    • Unit 7: Local Public Authority 
    • Unit 8: National Authority: Parliament/Government 
    • Unit 9: What is Europe? 
    • Unit 10: Referendum 

     

    Are there any requirements for the programme? 

    There is no minimum literacy requirement to begin this course. All levels including emergent learners are catered for. There is a maximum class size of 12 students. Traditionally, students who have studied another programme called Latch-On, progress to MOTE, but completion of Latch-On module is not an entry requirement for the MOTE programme. 

     

    Where is the programme taught? 

    The programme is run across the country at various locations, in some branches and some ETB Further Education Colleges across Ireland. 

     

    When does the programme begin? 

    The programme usually begins in mid-September but may sometimes begin in January. 

    It is usually a 2-year course that runs 1 day a week. 

     

    Who can I contact for further information? 

    You can contact: 

Work Skills 

This 3-year programme prepares members for the world of work. The first 2 years are classroom-based. Students participate in work experience. For more details please click the plus sign to read about Work Skills below.

  • Find out more about Work Skills 

    Our Work Skills programme is a bespoke programme which is designed to help adults with Down syndrome close the gap between education and meaningful employment in the world of work. 

    The course is compiled of interactive videos centred on employment and is based on a project developed by Accenture called the Skills to Succeed Academy 

     

    What areas/subjects does the programme cover? 

    The course is divided into three modules: 

    • You and Your Career looks at the individual and what their interests and motivations are. Students also learn about the different types of jobs and careers that are available. 
    • Getting a Job examines the practical process of applying for a job. Students will practise all aspects from job adverts, application forms, CVs and interviews. 
    • Success in Work prepares students for professional life and looks at social behaviour expected in the workplace. Students will practise roleplays and learn about timekeeping. 

     

    Students are encouraged to take part in work experience in their local area during their course. 

     

    Are there any requirements for the programme? 

    Adults who have already completed our existing education programmes, Latch-On and/or MOTE, can avail of our Work Skills Course.  

     

    Where is the programme taught? 

    The programme is usually taught in our branch network or in some ETB Further Education Colleges around the country. 

     

    When does the programme run? 

    The programme usually begins in mid-September but may sometimes begin in January. 

    It usually runs for 1 day per week for 2 years, or 2 days per week for 1 year. 

     

    Who can I contact for further information? 

    If you would like to find out about or start a Work Skills Programme in your area, you can contact: 

     

    ETB Colleges of Further Education 

    Other Further Education programmes are run in Colleges of Further Education and Training throughout the country. Contact your local ETB for more details or visit the Further Education & Training Course Hub website or read more on the ETBI’s Further Education and Training page.

     

    Useful Websites for information on Further Education other courses:

    Solas.ie | therightcourse.ie | thisisfet.ie | smartchoices.ie | rehab.ie

Additional Courses for people with disabilities

National Learning Network 

The National Learning Network provides a range of flexible training programmes and support services for people who need specialist support in 50 centres around the country.