Higher Options career talks: how to apply for Dare access

Eligible students can access courses with reduced CAO points

The Disability Access Route to Education (Dare) is a third level admissions scheme for school leavers whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their second level education.

Colleges adhering to the scheme allow eligible students to access their courses with reduced CAO points.

Normally, in a first year undergraduate course, about 5 per cent of places are reserved for Dare students, but this can vary college by college and year after year.

CAO process remains the same for Dare applicants, and they still have to meet the minimum entry requirements for their chosen courses.



Dare will consider students with conditions such as autistic spectrum, ADD, ADHD, visual or hearing impairment or dyspraxia, along with mental health conditions, neurological conditions like brain injure or epilepsy, speech and language communication disorders, significant ongoing illness, physical disabilities and specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia or dyscalculia.

Dare applications are submitted through CAO but by an additional deadline which is important to check out.

Following the application, a checklist of required supporting documents will be issued basing on the information provided. Supporting documents are key to prove disability conditions and impact on learning, so it’s important that Dare students collect them in advance.

The documents must be provided to CAO by post and signed by a medical professional specific to the concerned disability.


The application outcome will be notified through the CAO portal and by email after a couple months.

Dare applicants are encouraged to seek help from Guidance counsellors to complete their application, and to reach out to the specific Dare contact person in the colleges they are applying to.

Further details can be found at: www.accesscollege.ie.

Video recorded in 2021

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