Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Department of Education and Skills
Under the Assistive Technology scheme, as set out in my Department’s Circular 0010/2013, funding is provided to schools towards the cost of computers and specialist equipment, which are required for educational purposes. Equipment is provided under this scheme for children with more complex disabilities who, in order to access the school curriculum, require essential specialist equipment which they do not already have, or which cannot be provided for them through the school’s existing IT provision.
The National Council for Special Education (NCSE), through its network of Special Education Needs Officers (SENOs), is responsible for processing applications from schools for assistive technology support.
Schools make applications directly to the SENO, providing details of the student’s special educational needs or disability, including details of the approach taken by the school in making relevant interventions.
SENOs will review the application and professional reports, in order to establish whether the criteria of the scheme have been met. They will then make a recommendation to my Department as to whether or not assistive technology is required; and based on this recommendation, my Department’s officials will decide on the level of grant, if any, to be provided. The NCSE operates within my Department's criteria in making such recommendations, as set out in Circular 0010/2013.
The type of equipment provided under the assistive technology scheme is varied, and includes audiological supports for students with hearing impairment, braille equipment for children with visual impairment, and computer equipment with associated modified software for students with physical or severe communicative disabilities.
The NCSE has not received an application for Assistive Technology from the school in respect of this pupil. Accordingly, I suggest that the parent contacts the school with regard to the kind of supports required by the child in question. The local SENO will also be in position to advise in this regard.