You are the parent or guardian of a student who has made the transition to university; this is a big step for your son or daughter. This is an exciting time but can also be a daunting time for any student.
Staff at Disability services at the University of Limerick have over 20 years’ experience and expertise and so we hope you will be confident in our ability to support your son or daughter as they begin their University experience. We share the aspirations you have and we understand the anxiety you may be feeling as a parent.
Over the years we have observed the experiences of students who register with Disability Services. We have been on the journey of change with these students; we have first-hand experience of the challenges, the highs, the lows, the successes, the growth in confidence and then the independence. The following information may assist you in further understanding the journey your son or daughter is now on and while there may be difficulties along the way there is always help available.
Usually students need their P/G to be supportive and patient at the start of their college journey. It will take time for the student to adjust to their new status. The student typically goes from a supported environment to an environment where they must take control. The support and encouragement of parents and guardians is invaluable at this time. Encourage your student to use the resources on campus, reassure them that they will settle and that it does take time. The quicker a student identifies a difficulty the easier it is to resolve it. Expect that the first few weeks may be turbulent and you may get emotional calls or emails, reassure your student that there is support available and that this is all part of this settling-in period. If the turbulence persists you may need to take action to support the student.
Always encourage your student to refer to the student handbook if they are confused about any aspect of college. This is the first question you should ask them if they start to have difficulty.
The student handbook is available here
Communication with Parents
Disability Services staff understands that from time to time parents/guardians may have concerns or questions, in our experience talking to your son or daughter is the first step to resolve any concerns. Our (Disability Services) relationship with the student is based on trust, we want the student to be responsible for their own learning and their experience here in UL. Students need to be involved in all communication concerning them; the student will be copied on any email responses to parents and will be given a summary of any phone conversation between DS staff and parent or guardian. If a parent requests a meeting with DS staff the student must attend.
University of Limerick Terminology
Outlined below are terms used here on campus that you may want to become familiar with
Orientation: Period prior to start of college where a student gets to see the college and meet their class and course leader. This often includes social events. may be social events. Some specific groups such as mature students, students with disability, and access students may have an additional orientation session which students also attend.
Enrolment: All students must enrol as a student and will receive their ID card.
Registration: Student must register and/or confirm their modules.
Semester: The study year is divided up into two 15 week periods autumn semester and spring semester.
Module: One particular subject within a programme of study
Co-op: Work placement
Erasmus: Study abroad period
Placement: Either clinical or teaching period in a school or a clinical site
Student Status committee: This committee deals with requests for leave of absence, readmission, exemptions and repeat year/semester situations
QCA (quality credit average): This is a measurement of your overall performance (more detailed information on this in the student handbook)
Stables: Student bar
Arena: Sports facilities
Plaza: Main thoroughfare between main building, library building and the foundation building (concert hall)
Be aware that you can find most information on the UL website regarding college life.
The C-Pen Exam Reader pen scanner is an electronic pen the uses text to speech to read aloud printed text. The C-Pen Exam Reader is an orange portable, pocket-sized device that reads text out aloud with an English human-like digital voice used instead of a human reader.
This device means students who have reading difficulties such as dyslexia can independently take exams knowing that they can read and understand the questions. Students using the pen bring their own in-ear headphones to use with the reading pen via 3.5mm headphone socket. All students are given the opportunity to train on the reading pen prior to exams.
The reading pens have been used in UL for the last four years by first years through to postgraduate students. The reading pen is also available as a reasonable accommodation in the Leaving Cert resulting in more and more students entering college and university already trained on how to use the reading pen in exams.
Below is a very short video on the exam reader pen.