Foreword

The aim of this document is to give guidance on the design of the physical environment in primary and post-primary school buildings and grounds, so that they are easy for everyone to use, including students with disabilities.

This guidance will help boards of management, school principals, teaching staff, parents and built environment design professionals to understand the barriers that the built environment often presents to students with disabilities, and to overcome these barriers.

The provision of education for all regardless of their age, size, ability or disabilities depends on a wide range of factors, including school policies, curriculum planning, teaching strategies, and the school environment. Well-designed schools allow all students to participate fully and independently. This frees their teachers to focus on educational goals. Students with disabilities should be able to get around the school along with their peers. They need to be able to navigate through the school building, use standard classroom equipment, and use their own assistive technologies with ease.

Principals and boards of management should plan to improve the accessibility of school buildings over time. Improving the accessibility of Ireland's primary and post primary schools will be key in maximising the social inclusion of all young people in our society.

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Peter McKevitt

Chairperson

National Disability Authority