See & Learn Training

See & Learn Training

Conyngham Arms Hotel Slane

 26th August or 30th September

6 – 9 pm  

Down Syndrome Ireland are rolling out See and Learn training to parents of children aged between 2 and 5 years (early years and preschool).

DSI are investing in rolling out See and Learn with funds raised through our HB Fundays campaign this year. See and Learn is an evidence based, structured teaching programme which teaches speech, language and reading skills in small steps for children with Down syndrome up to 6 years of age.

The programme is designed to help educators and parents provide young children with the additional support and practice they need to learn language.

During 2020, DSI want to put a See and Learn pack in every participating pre-school in the country that has a child with Down syndrome attending and provide See and Learn packs to each of our 25 local branches.

DSI have been in contact with all of our member parents of children aged 2 – 5 asking them if they and / or their child’s early year’s educators would like to participate in our training programme and we’ve had lots of interest!

To find out more about the project you can contact Olive Buckeridge, or the and See and Learn Project Leader, Gavin Mc Donnell or check out our website here:

To register for the Training please contact or





Down Syndrome Ireland’s Ability programme was launched in September 2018 and is aimed at providing further education and preparation for employment for our over 18s. The programme has been developed in conjunction with Accenture, a global management consultancy firm and with the support of funding from Pobal.

In its complete format, the programme runs for 4 days per week from September to June for 2 years with modules in Practical Literacy and Technology; Decision Making, Rights and Responsibilities; Work Skills and preparation for employment.

Louth/Meath branch will run and subsidise the programme from September 2019 if there is sufficient interest. Location will depend on the level of interest. It is an option to run just parts of the programme and this may suit members who have already completed Latch on and Mote programmes who would prefer to do the only Work Skills module. Again, it will depend on demand.

Planning for a class in September 2019 must begin NOW. If you are interested in any way or would like more details, please contact;

Geraldine Regan, 087 8157542, or

Audrey O’Dowd, 086 0537177,

Expression of interest is not a commitment to enrolling in the programme.

Further details in the attached flyer and also in the current Down Syndrome Ireland magazine.


DSI to present in Leinster House on education resources for children with Down syndrome – we want to hear from you

Representatives from Down Syndrome Ireland will be attending Leinster House on January 30th to make a presentation to TD’s and Senators in relation to both:


  • July Provision for children with Down syndrome
    July Provision is the extended school year which is not available to the vast majority of children with Down syndrome, leaving them at an educational disadvantage.


  • The current issues relating to Individual Education Plans (IEPs) at post primary schools
    Teachers’ Unions – the ASTI and TUI – have both recently advised their members to stop providing these critical planning processes for children with additional educational needs due to resource issues. IEPs are vital to ensure a positive learning environment for students with Down syndrome.



We are eager to hear from as many parents as possible on both of these issues to ensure that your voices and concerns are heard by our elected representatives.

As such, can you please email us at outlining:

  • Why is July Provision necessary for your child?
  • Why is it critical that IEPs are in place for their child at post-primary school?
  • We would also value any comments from parents relating to your experiences to date with your child’s IEP at post-primary school.

Please include your name, your location, your child’s name and age.

We will only use you and your child’s forenames and county in the document presented to TDs and Senators attending.

To enable us to draft a document with your responses, we would need to have your thoughts and comments by next Thursday, January 24th at the latest.

We will keep you updated on our progress.


Down Syndrome Ireland to seek urgent meeting with Teachers Union and the Department of Education & Skills

Hi everyone,

We hope you are well in the run up to Christmas!

We wanted to let you know that Down Syndrome Ireland is to seek an urgent meeting with the Department of Education & Skills and the ASTI following the teachers union instructing its members to stop engaging in vital planning processes for children with additional educational needs.

It comes after the ASTI instructed its members earlier this week to stop implementing Individual Education Plans (IEP) for students with additional needs due to resource issues.   IEPs are considered best practice, but are not a legal requirement due to the failure of successive governments to enact relevant legislation.

The Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act, 2004 (EPSEN) includes a requirement for schools to provide IEPs for students with additional educational needs. However, this ground-breaking piece of legislation which will put the provision of best practice in education for people with these additional needs on a legal footing has yet to be enacted by the Government almost 15 years later.

In response to the ASTI statement, Down Syndrome Ireland’s Gary Owens said: “We have always recognised that the majority of teachers and schools are doing their absolute best to ensure a positive learning environment for students with additional educational needs but it is grossly unfair that these students would be used as pawns in a dispute between the Department of Education and Skills and the ASTI to secure additional resources.”

Individualised Education Plans are vital to ensure a positive learning environment for students with Down syndrome.

“Education is vitally important for every student, including students with additional educational  needs. Students with Down syndrome will suffer and will struggle to be successful in education if they don’t have structured education planning in place. The move is essentially condemning students with additional needs to a lifelong path of dependence, which is shameful,” Mr Owens continued.

Down Syndrome Ireland has campaigned for the EPSEN Act to be fully enacted and adequately resourced so that the rights of students with additional educational needs are enshrined in law, rather than depending on the goodwill of schools and teachers.

We are calling on the ASTI to reconsider its stance and ensure children with additional needs have the support they need to reach their full potential in education.

You can access the ASTI announcement here:

We have included the above piece in our weekly Digest which was issued today to all members we have email addresses for. We will of course keep you updated on any future developments.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

With very best wishes,



Down Syndrome Ireland