Literacy & Technology Hands-On (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 and is now taught in centres across Ireland, for two days a week over two years. 

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 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 excursions 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 digestible break down 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 tutors.


Where is the programme taught?

We run Latch-On programmes across the country at various locations. Please contact John Condon, Head of Adult Education for further details for 2022/2023 locations.


When does the programme begin?

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


Who can I contact for further information?

You can contact John Condon, Head of Adult Education at or Sinéad Flynn, Adult Education Officer at