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Reasonable Accommodations for students with epilepsy raised in the Dáil

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Deputy Jennifer Murnane O'Connor

Our ongoing campaign around reasonable accommodations for students with epilepsy during state exams was recently raised in Dáil Eireann with Minister for Education, Deputy Norma Foley.

The matter was raised was by Deputy Jennifer Murnane O’Connor as part of a wider debate on leaving cert reform.

As it currently stands, if a student with epilepsy has a seizure during their exam which renders them unable to complete that exam, the only option for them is to re-sit that exam a year later. This has caused huge difficulties for numerous students with epilepsy over the years and has long been a key advocacy issue for Epilepsy Ireland.

However, last year, the Minister announced there would be an alternate sitting of the Leaving Cert in 2022 for students with “specified illnesses” whose condition may prevent them from sitting their exams as scheduled.

This is a very welcome development but since this initial announcement, we have received no further details on exactly what specific illnesses will be covered under this alternate sitting arrangement.

In her contribution, Deputy Murnane O’Connor put forward the current situation facing students with epilepsy and while the Minister did not specifically confirm whether epilepsy will be included under the alternate sitting arrangements, it is encouraging that the Minister referenced the alternate sittings in response to Deputy Murnane O’Connor’s contribution.

We will continue to pursue this matter on the behalf of all students with epilepsy and should any further update become available, we will share this on our website and social media channels.

You can watch the relevant part of the Dáil debate in the video below.