Trinity celebrates 20 years of inclusive education 

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

Minister Simon Harris joined past and present students of Trinity College to celebrate the achievements of Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities.  

The Learning Without Limits conference, which took place last Friday October 27, saw TCPID students and graduates join Minister Harris and staff from Trinity College Dublin’s School of Education and community supporters, to reflect on what an inclusive college experience should look like.  

A highlight of the day’s events included a conversation hosted by TCPID students and graduates, which focused on three themes: academic experience, college life experience and pathways to opportunity after college. 

“The best thing about being a college student is the independence and the way that I can decide for my own life,” said student Emma McGrath.

Based in Trinity’s School of Education, the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities has grown from a pilot project in 2004 to become a national and international leader in inclusive education. 

“It is wonderful to be celebrating TCPID’s ground breaking role in Irish inclusive education over the past two decades. The work everyone does in TCPID is invaluable. I am so heartened to hear of the incredible success stories of its graduates,” said Minister Harris.

“I want to pay particular tribute to the Trinity Centre for creating such an inclusive space that fully recognises the rights of students with intellectual disabilities. 

“As Minister for Further and Higher Education, my job is to make sure that no matter who you are, where you come from and no matter what your passion is, you can achieve it. 

“Many students and families still feel that education is beyond their reach. I am so determined that everyone gets the opportunity they deserve when it comes to education,” he added.


TCPID’s flagship course, the Certificate in Arts, Science and Inclusive Applied Practice, is a best-practice model of education that allows its students with intellectual disabilities to fulfil their potential through academic study, work placement and college life experience.

Over 160 students have graduated from this course and its precursor the Certificate in Contemporary Living. 

“At the heart of our mission lie our incredible students and graduates. They continually astound us with their unwavering determination and limitless potential,” said Professor Michael Shevlin, Director of the Trinity Centre for People with Intellectual Disabilities, School of Education, Trinity.

“In the past, these remarkable students might have been segregated from society but we now witness them thriving within Trinity and onwards into employment with our business partners.

“In this journey we have learned that there aren’t two separate worlds; there is just one world, and we can, and indeed should, all coexist harmoniously within it.

“Let this celebration remind us of the boundless possibilities that emerge when we break down barriers and foster inclusion for all.” 

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