Disability Access - DARE

Video: How to Apply to Dare

What is the DARE Scheme?

DARE (Disability Access Route to Educaiton) is an alternative third-level education admissions scheme. It offers places on a reduced points basis to school leavers under 23 years, with a disability that has had a negative impact on their education at second level. 

The scheme is available for entry to 24 participating colleges and universities as follows:

Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) click here
Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) click here
TU Dublin - City Campus click here
Dublin City University (DCU) click here
Dundalk Institute of Technology  click here
Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design, Technology (IADT) click here
Galway Mayo Institute of Technology   click here
TU Dublin - Blanchardstown  click here
TU Dublin - Tallaght click here
Institute of Technology Carlow click here
Institute of Technology Sligo click here
Institute of Technology Tralee  click here
Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) click here
Marino Institute of Education click here
Mary Immaculate College Limerick click here
Maynooth University click here
National College of Ireland (NCI) click here
NUI Galway click here
Pontifical University Maynooth click here
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) click here
St. Angela's College Sligo click here
Trinity College Dublin (TCD) click here
University College Cork (UCC) click here
University College Dublin (UCD) click here
University of Limerick (UL) click here

Who is DARE for? 

DARE is for school leavers under the age of 23 with a disability, who have been educationally impacted as a result of that disability. Applicants to DARE can present with an Irish Leaving Certificate, A-Levels and/or other EU qualifications.  

Requirements for DARE

Evidence of Disability: A full Psychological Assessment Report of any age that clearly states that the applicant presents with a Specific Learning Difficulty (other acceptable terminology includes: Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Specific Learning Disability/Disorder).


Evidence of Educational Impact: Educational Impact Statement signed off by the applicant’s school. The Educational Impact Statement is used to determine if you meet DARE criteria for educational impact of your disability. The Educational Impact Statement also helps to determine appropriate supports at third level.

How do I apply for DARE?

To apply to DARE you must agree to the DARE Terms and Conditions. Applicants applying to DARE must:

  • Be under the age of 23 as of 1 January 2019.
  • Apply to the CAO by 17:15 on 1 February 2019.
  • No later than 17:15 on 1 March 2019, disclose your disability and/ or specific learning difficulty in your CAO application and fully and correctly complete Section A of the Supplementary Information Form (SIF). To apply to DARE, you must answer YES to Question 1 (‘Do you wish to be considered for DARE?’) on Section A of the fully completed SIF by 17:15 on 1 March 2019.
  • Download Section B Educational Impact Statement (EIS) and have your school complete the form. Return the EIS to CAO to arrive by 17:15 on 1 April 2019.
  • Download Section C Evidence of Disability, and have it completed by the appropriate medical professional (only if you do not already have a report verifying your disability which meets the DARE criteria). Return it to CAO to arrive by 17:15 on 1 April 2019.
  • Applicants with a specific learning difficulty are asked to provide a full psychological assessment of any age completed by an appropriately qualified psychologist instead of the Section C Evidence of Disability form. This report must be accompanied by attainment scores from tests administered by your school and/ or an appropriately qualified psychologist.

Click here  for more detailed information on DARE and information on language exemptions.

Note: Eligible students can apply for both HEAR and DARE. Those eligible for both schemes will be prioritised under new criteria now in place.


DARE Application Timetable

Note: The following table offers a general guideline to the DARE application process; the dates listed are taken from the general CAO and DARE application timetables and may change from year to year. See the CAO's Important Dates for the most up-to-date deadlines.

From November

CAO applications open from November (in 2018 this was November 5th). Intending applicants are advised to:

1. Review the current DARE Handbook - it is a good idea to do this with your parent(s)/guardian(s).

2. Make your CAO application at

3. Fill in the online Supplementary Information Form (SIF) at

4. Complete your Educational Impact Statement - this is done with your school.

5. Gather your Evidence of Disability documents.

By 1 February

Apply to the CAO by 17.15 at

CAO applications open 5 November at 12.00.

By 1 March

You must indicate your wish to be considered for DARE by ticking YES to Question 1 and complete Section A (Questions 1-5) of the Supplementary Information Form (SIF) on

By 1 April

Return your fully completed, signed and stamped documents to The CAO, Tower House, Eglington Street, Galway, by 17.15:

1. Educational Impact Statement (Section B)

2. Evidence of Disability (Section C) or other evidence of disability. Make sure your documents are clear and can be easily read. Please number each page and write your CAO application number, name and the date on the front of each page.

Faxed/ emailed documents are not accepted. 


Assessment of DARE applications takes place. Applicants will be notified of the outcome by the end of June.

Late June

DARE review and appeals process opens.

End June /Early July

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of review and appeals.


Leaving Certificate Exam Results

Eligible DARE applicants compete for reduced points places

CAO Offers are made to eligible DARE applicants

Course offers are made and should be accepted through the CAO

Late August /Early September

Attend College Orientation and register with Disability Support Services
Useful Dates...
1 Events
May 31 5:00 PM
Access TU Dublin Closing Date
TU Dublin - Dublin City