Measures to help students with autism and special needs are to be introduced at 23 higher education institutions at a cost of €5.4m.

Among the new projects are the establishment of autism-friendly rooms across nine different campuses.

There will also be assistive technology for students with disabilities, an app to help students with visual or hearing impairment navigate their way around campus and specialist assistance for students who are deaf. 

The measures were announced by Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris who said funds will be provided for "tactile wayfinding maps, loop systems for deaf and hard-of-hearing students". 

Minister Harris added: "College can be an overwhelming experience, but for people with disabilities it can be extremely daunting."

Some of the funding will provide for the training of staff and hiring new ones to help students with additional needs.

The higher education institutions included are:

National University of Ireland Galway
Dublin City University
Trinity College Dublin
University College Cork
University of Limerick
University College Dublin
Maynooth University
Technological University Dublin
Athlone Institute of Techology
Munster Technological University
Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
Institute of Technology Carlow
Institute of Technology Sligo
Letterkenny Institute of Technology
Limerick Institute of Technology
Waterford Institute of Technology
Mary Immaculate College
National College of Art and Design
National College of Ireland
Shannon College
Law Society of Ireland
St Angela's College