Support Available to 3rd Level Students with Asthma

College Students

The Asthma Society of Ireland has recently learned that a student with asthma may qualify for additional academic and exam supports when they transition to Third Level education under the DARE Scheme.  

The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a college and university admissions scheme which in some cases offers places on reduced points to school leavers with Disabilities.  Having asthma qualifies for the scheme as it is listed as a long term condition. Therefore, we encourage students and parents to contact the Disability Service within their Third Level College if their asthma is effecting their studies.  

Possible Supports Available

Once a student discloses their Disability and registers with the Disability Service within their college, depending on circumstances, students with significant ongoing illnesses such as asthma would have a meeting with a Disability Officer within their Third Level Institution.  The purpose of the meeting is to individually tailor reasonable accommodations.  

Under the scheme students with asthma would qualify for both academic and exam supports if they can illustrate their asthma has a profound effect on their educational attainment.

For example:

  • If the student is tired due to medication and side effects of their illness a college may provide them with a LiveScribe pen, where they can record the lectures as they take notes (The Livescribe Echo smart pen allows you to record your lectures, capture your notes, replay them and allows you to send them from your desktop as a standard PDF or audio file.  You can record andplayback everything you hear and write. For more information go to the Livescribe website and check out the support videos available on the YouTube channel.)  

  • A range of other supports are available and you should consult your college for further information on these.


How DARE Works

To qualify students must meet all criteria for DARE entry.

The form has 3 sections as follows:

  1. Section A asks for information on your disability, the supports you received at second level and how your disability impacted on your education. It also asks if you wish to be considered for DARE.

  2. Section B is second, to be completed by your school. It provides information about your educational experience and assists the decision about the third-level supports you need.

  3. Section C is an evidence of Disability form which must be completed by the accepted Medical consultant or specialist for your particular disability. It provides verification of your disability and helps the decision about the third-level supports that you need. 

The impact of the student's asthma on their school attendance and work will be identified.

The personal statement of how the illness has affected the student will give perspective in the impact and reflecting the school's statement and the consultant's statement.

Screening Criteria - Does Asthma Qualify?

Asthma qualifies under the Significant Ongoing Illness category(Including but not exclusive – Diabetes Type 1, Cystic Fibrosis (CF), Severe Crohn’s Disease, Severe Ulcerative Colitis and IBS, Chronic Fatigue, Cancers)

  • In the case of asthma a respiratory consultant should complete the Evidence of Disability form or submit an existing report completed by the appropriate professional which contains the same detail as the Evidence of Disability Form

  • Age of Report: the report must be less than 3 years old i.e. must be dated after 1st February 2012

  • Other Disabilities/Medical Conditions: you need to submit an Evidence of Disability Form for each disability / medical condition to be considered

  • Personal Statement and Academic Reference Student’s personal statement should outline the impact of disability on their academic and educational experience to date. Academic Reference Form 2015 provides background information on the student’s educational experience and can confirm challenges, stating the educational impact of disability and describing the need for any teaching and learning adjustments. This form also helps to determine appropriate supports at third level.

  • DARE Eligibility: DARE will consider your application once an appropriate professional has diagnosed a significant and ongoing illness, for example where the date of onset of a condition is greater than one year.

You can find more information on the scheme visit and here


To discuss this development further please contact Kevin Kelly (Advocacy Manager)  the Asthma Society of Ireland – 01 5549212 or