CAO / DARE applications 2020

Are you planning to apply to the CAO? Do you stammer? Then you may be eligible for DARE.

What’s DARE?

27 colleges, universities and Institutes of Technologies (Higher Education Institutions – HEIs) around Ireland take part in the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) scheme.

DARE is for students, under the age of 23 as of 1 January 2020 , who experience a negative impact on their school education as a result of a disability or specific learning difficulty. Speech and language communication disorder is one of the conditions considered as part of the scheme, which could include having a stammer.

If you’re an eligible applicant, you may be offered a place on your preferred CAO course, even if you don’t have enough Leaving Certificate points. All of the participating HEIs have a reserved number of DARE places, and the reduction in Leaving Certificate points can vary year-on-year. As usual, you must meet the HEI’s minimum entry requirements and any specific programme requirements. Details of places available and requirements can be found on

As a DARE student, you’re encouraged to register with student support services. Even if you don’t qualify for DARE, you might still be able to access a variety of academic, personal and social supports in your HEI.

Am I eligible and how do I apply?

To be eligible for DARE, you must apply for the scheme via the CAO, providing evidence of 1) being a person who stammers and 2) the educational impact this has had.

1) In order to provide evidence of being a person who stammers, you must submit an Evidence of Disability Form (available on or or an existing report completed and signed by a Speech and Language Therapist. 

2) In order to provide evidence of the educational impact this has had, you must submit an Educational Impact Statement (available on or This must be completed with your school, signed and stamped by your school principal or deputy principal, and signed by you and your parent/guardian. It should outline how you meet the DARE Educational Impact criteria using 6 indicators: 1. Have you received intervention or supports in secondary school as a result of having a stammer? 2. Has having a stammer impacted on your attendance or regularly disrupted your school day? 3. Has it affected your school experience and wellbeing? 4. Has it impacted on your learning or exam results? 5. Has it caused any other educational impact? 6. Has it affected your literacy and numeracy attainment scores?

It can take a while to gather and finalise your documentation so you’re encouraged to start as soon as possible.

Applicants who are eligible for both the HEAR and DARE schemes are prioritised. HEAR is for students from a background of socio-economic disadvantage and, like DARE, offers HEI places on reduced Leaving Certificate points. You should apply to both DARE and HEAR if they are relevant to you.

If you have more than one disability, all of your disabilities can be assessed for eligibility under DARE as long as you provide evidence of them and the educational impact they have had.

Key dates:

  • 11 January : DARE and HEAR Application Information Day events around Ireland – details on
  • 1 February: deadline to apply to the CAO.
  • 1 March: deadline to apply for DARE and complete the Supplementary Information Form.
  • 15 March: deadline to return the Educational Impact Statement and Evidence of Disability documentation to the CAO.
  • June: you will be notified of the outcome of your DARE application.
  • August: when Leaving Certificate results are released, eligible DARE applicants compete for reduced points places – course offers are made and accepted through the CAO.

Women’s Phone Support Group 2020!

The Irish Stammering Association invites you to the first Women’s Phone Group call of 2020 which will be held on Wednesday 29th January from 8.00pm – 9.00pm.

The Women’s phone group is a monthly support group for women who stammer and is also run by women who stammer. It is a telephone Conference call that takes place for approximately 1 hour one evening during the month. The phone call is free from a landline or mobile and is very informal, you can say as much as you like or just listen. There are usually 3 to 7 participants on each call. All are women who stammer discussing issues relating to their stammer.

Please let us know if you would be interested in participating in the next or any future Women’s Telephone Support group by emailing us at  

Or you can leave a phone message on 01 872 4405

Christmas Social 2019

Come for a Christmas drink and a catch up with the Irish stammering Association. Learn more about the ISA, meet other people who stammer, make some new friends or just have a drink and some free finger food!

2019 has been a great year for ISA. Join us for the final ISA social event of the year.

Free finger food from 8 p.m. Wednesday 11th December in The Church, Junction of Mary St and Jervis St, Dublin 1

Happy Christmas and we hope to see you there!

The Next Women’s Phone Group – Monday 25th November

The Irish Stammering Association invites you to the next Women’s Phone Group, which will be held on Monday 25th November 2019.

The Women’s phone group is a monthly support group for women who stammer and is also run by women who stammer. It is a telephone Conference call that takes place for approximately 1 hour one evening during the month. The phone call is free from a landline or mobile and is very informal, you can say as much as you like or just listen. There are usually 3 to 7 participants on each call. All are women who stammer discussing issues relating to their stammer.

Please let us know if you would be interested in participating in the next Women’s Telephone Support group by emailing us at if you would be interested in future group telephone calls you can send us an email or leave a phone message on 01 872 4405.

ISA Walk and Talk: November 3rd 2019

LocationKilmainham Gaol, Dublin

Meeting Point: 2.40pm, Sunday November 3rd at the entrance to Kilmainham Courthouse, Dublin 8

Length of Walk: A leisurely 2 hours.

Getting there: Please visit for transport and parking options

What is the Walk and Talk? This will be a social gathering and will provide an opportunity for those who stammer, their family and friends, or those with an interest in stammering to Walk and Talk as they take a tour of Kilmainham Gaol with a guide who stammers! We will visit a café afterwards for refreshments. The walk is open to adults and children over 10 years old. Children should be accompanied by an adult

How do I take part? This Walk and Talk tour is free to all but please express your interest by contacting before November 1st 2019 to secure a place

Please contact  for further details.

NSAD 2019

Growth through Speaking

The 13th National Stammering Awareness Day will take place on Saturday October 19th in the Hilton Kilmainham Hotel, Dublin 8. This year’s theme is ‘Growth through speaking’. The event starts at 10 a.m. and continues until 4.30 p.m.

As well as having our regular presentations from Irish Stammering Association and Irish McGuire Programme we’ll have a range of speakers to encourage, inspire and get you thinking.

Speakers include:

  • Dr Maria Stuart (UCD) will look at representation of stuttering in the arts and media
  • Doctoral candidate Jessica O Donoghue reports on her research of music therapy and stuttering
  • Speech and Language Therapist Vincent Johnson reflects on the impact of Camp: Dream Speak Live for kids who stutter
  • California based stand up comedian Nina G talks about stuttering, advocacy and her new book “Stutterer interrupted: The Comedian Who Almost Didn’t Happen”

A drama workshop for kids and teens who stutter will take place from 11 a.m. The ISAYiT! group will perform a short showcase in the afternoon.

ISA’s Parents’ Support Network will meet at 1 p.m. The group gives parents an opportunity to share their experiences of stuttering and offer support to one another.  The session is facilitated by parents and speech and language therapists.

National Stammering Awareness Day is free to attend and all are welcome. Refreshments will be served in the morning session.

Parking and Public Transport

Hilton Kilmainham Hotel has a preferential all day parking rate of €7. This operates on a first come fist service; you must pay for this parking at reception to avail of the special rate. Alternative parking can be found at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Public transport serves Hilton Kilmainham with LUAS stops at Heuston Station and Suir Road, and several Dublin Bus routes. The Transport for Ireland website gives real time information to assist your travel.

Keep an eye on for the schedule of events.

Twitter: @irishstammering

Facebook: /stammeringireland


Employment opportunity with the ISA

Irish Stammering AssociationEmployment Support Officer (part time)

Job Description

You will be joining the staff team of the Irish Stammering Association (ISA). The role will offer a specialist support service for people who stammer who are in employment or looking to get into employment.

Purpose of the role

The purpose of this role is to design, develop and implement a sustainable model of support for adults who stammer entering the workplace and for those already in the workplace.

It will involve building up contacts and networks and developing and maintaining good working relationships with employers, adults who stammer who contact the ISA on employment matters, and other organisations that could collaborate with the ISA in offering an employment support service for people who stammer.

The role will bring specialist information on stammering to local generalised services and should deliver specific practical support to people who stammer.

Hours of work: 15 hours per week (2 days[1]). Overtime will be claimed as time off in lieu. Flexible working arrangements can be agreed.

Salary:  The salary scale will begin at the pro-rata equivalent of €29,609 p.a., being €12,004. Subject to a yearly performance review, there will yearly increments up this scale.

Leave:   Annual leave will be calculated on the basis of 8% of hours worked per year with a pro-rata addition for public holidays. This works out as 90 hours, being just over 12 days.

Place of work: Carmichael Centre, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7 and remotely / at events around Ireland

Accountability: Reports directly to Development Manager


To develop an Employment Support Network, building relationships with companies and relevant organisations to increase understanding of stammering in the workplace

Organise events for the Employment Support Network and deliver specific practical support to people who stammer

Be the visible contact for Employment Support Network

Deal with enquiries from the Irish stammering community on employment matters, investigating their needs and requirements, and developing the ISA employment support function and programmes in line with these. Maintain a database of people who stammer who have contacted the ISA seeking support on employment issues in line with data protection law and build and maintain relationships with these people.

Promote a positive perspective towards people who stammer in the workplace

Develop documentation and resources (with ISA team)

Person Specification:

Education and qualifications

Education to a degree level or equivalent would be an advantage but not essential

Desirable experience

Experience of working for or volunteering with a charity

Experience of working in or with a corporate environment

Experience of diversity and inclusion policies and practice

Experience of event organisation

Knowledge or experience of stammering

Knowledge of best practice appropriate to the post

Skills and attributes

  • Self-starter with the enthusiasm, ability and confidence to take on the role
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with an ability to engage and communicate productively with colleagues and a wide range of stakeholders in ways which demonstrate credibility, dignity, empathy and respect
  • Strong written communication skills with the ability to draft clear and comprehensive documents and correspondence.
  • Ability to work effectively alongside the ISA team and ISA volunteers including colleagues in different locations
  • Demonstrate discretion and judgement in decision making in line with the ISA Strategic Plan and its Vision, Mission and Values
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Excellent administration and record keeping skills
  • Comply with ISA policies, guidelines and relevant legislation such as data protection, child protection and equal opportunities in the workplace
  • Strong project management skills and social media awareness

Closing date for applications

Please send cv and cover letter to by 10.00am on Monday 9th September 2019.

[1] Candidates with flexibility to extend their working hours  (if the role expands) are welcome to apply.

ISA Walk and Talk : July 28th 2019

Location: Portmarnock Coastal Path, Co. Dublin

Meeting Point: 12pm on Sunday July 28th at Portmarnock DART station, Portmarnock, Co. Dublin

Length of Walk: A leisurely 2 hours.

Getting there by public transport from Dublin City Centre: Buy a return ticket to Malahide DART station. Hop off at the Portmarnock stop for the Walk and Talk and afterwards you can catch a DART from Malahide back into Dublin City Centre.  Dublin Bus routes can be found at

What is the Walk and Talk?

This will be a social gathering and will provide an opportunity for those who stammer, their family and friends, or those with an interest in stammering to Walk and Talk as they take in the stunning views of one of the most scenic parts of the Dublin coastline. We will meet outside the entrance to Portmarnock DART station and make our way along the coastal path towards Malahide. We will visit a café in Malahide afterwards for refreshments. The walk is open to all ages, although children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult.

What should I bring?

Please ensure to bring: Walking boots, raingear, snack and fluids.

How do I take part?

If you have any questions or would be interested in attending the Walk and Talk, please contact us before July 26th 2019 by email at: or by phone on: 01 8724405

Employment Support Workshops for people who stutter

ISA are running a series of pilot workshops to support people who stutter to get into employment.

We’re delighted to be working with SECAD in Cork for our first workshop. SECAD Partnership supports people into employment in South and East Cork. SECAD’s employment service aims to guide people towards the right supports depending on their needs and circumstances, be it unemployed  or perhaps in need of short term job specific training and help to apply for jobs.

Our first workshop takes place in Cork on Wednesday 26th June.  Places for this initial workshop are very limited so please contact us if you would be interested in attending.

We know that people who stutter can feel there are barriers to working.

  • People feel they have low confidence going into an interview situation or even approaching potential employers in the first place because of their stammer.
  • People may not be getting work even though they have degrees related to the jobs being offered e.g. engineering
  • Some people have no difficulty when performing or public speaking in other situations but they stammer when confronted with an interview situation.
  • Due to low self-esteem some people are reluctant to even attempt a job search

Our Cork workshop in partnership with SECAD will provide participants with information on…

  • An application and interview process
  • What employers are looking for
  • What to say at interview
  • How to talk more comfortably about stuttering in an interview
  • We’ll also have a ‘questions and answers’ session for potential interview candidates – what do you want to know?

A further workshop will take place in Dublin later in the year. If you’d like more information please call us on 01 872 4405 or contact

AGM and Open Day 2019

Irish Stammering Association is hosting an Open Day on Saturday 29th June 2019 in Clayton Whites Hotel, Abbey Street, Wexford. ISA’s Annual General Meeting will also take place on the day.

We will have a range of talks including:
• Chairman’s Address from ISA Chair David Heney
• Charlie Hughes – Gaiety School of Acting – lead tutor for ISAYiT! drama group for children who stutter
• Dr. Fiona Ryan – speech and language therapist
• Nora Trench Bowles – person who stutters and ISA board member
• Learn about ISA’s Employment Support Workshops
• The event starts at 12.00 p.m. with tea, coffee and scones.

We’ll also have an ISAYiT! drama workshop for children who stutter aged 7 – 17 which will run from 12.15pm to 2.15pm.

The day and ISAYiT! workshop are free to attend!

For more details please contact or phone 01 872 4405