‘The school tried its best, but they were struggling and ill-equipped’: Suzanne Voakes and her son Rian (6). Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Rian is almost seven. He loves the Avengers, playing with Lego, climbing and messy play. “He’s the joy of our family,” says his mother, Suzanne Voake(...)

It is now estimated that about 25% of school-going children in Ireland have some form of physical, learning and emotional or behavioural difficulty. File photograph: Getty Images

It looks alarming on paper. Spending on higher education has climbed by almost half a billion euro since 2011, an increase of about 40 per cent. The (...)

Tracey Daly sign language interpterting at  the   Centre for Excellence in Universal Design. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

When Marie O’Donoghue went looking for a special school for her intellectually disabled son Paul in the 1990s, the Department of Education’s response (...)

Senator Deirdre Clune said it was Marie O’Donoghue and her battle on behalf of her son which forced the State to recognise not just her son’s right to an education but the educational rights of all children, regardless of their disability. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

A young man who helped establish the educational rights of people with severe disabilities when his family took an action on his behalf against the St(...)

Mary Doherty with her son Aaron: parents are battling an inflexible system.Photograph:  Alan Betson

When the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn proposed a 10 per cent cut in resource teaching hours for pupils with special needs last year, the rea(...)