The Certificate in Contemporary Living, launched in TCD enables students with intellectual disabilities to pursue a full-time third level course.

A new chapter in third level education in Ireland officially began at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) this week. The Certificate in Contemporary Living (CCL) enables students with intellectual disabilities to study full time at university.

For Jan Mahon the college experience is about the social as well as the educational benefits,

Students come up to us and say hello to us. They want to sit down and talk to us. They want to know us for who we are, not for what our disability is.

Inclusion at early childhood, primary and second level education has been successful to date, says Doctor Patricia O'Brien at Trinity’s National Institute for Intellectual Disability, and the research is there to suggest that people with intellectual disabilities can continue to the next stage,

The time is right now for students to move on to third level education.

Ross O’Neill told RTÉ News that he is enjoying the course, and Aisling O’Brien is looking forward to the rest of her time in Trinity,

I just want to continue on learning.

The college’s community are benefiting too, as health sciences students such as those studying occupational therapy also work with the class and learn in the process.

The National Institute for Intellectual Disability also hopes to involve students and their families in long term research projects on issues around intellectual disability.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 May 2006. The reporter is Emma O’Kelly.