Down Syndrome Ireland

Latch-On Programme in association with Down Syndrome Ireland:


To recognise that everyone is a learner with ideas worth communicating and to build on this recognition to frame the development of a literacy programme specifically designed to meet the needs and interests of learners with an intellectual disability.

To deliver an evidence-based literacy programme which provides opportunities for adults with an intellectual disability to continue their literacy development in a post-secondary school environment, leading to development of a broad range of literacy skills,self-confidence,independence and enhanced employment opportunities.

Committee Members:

Chairperson Nuala Cloonan 04785150  /  0876821340
Treasurer: Violet Mc Cabe  04782154
Secretary  Unfilled as yet

Latch-On (Literacy and Technology Hands-On) is a programme devised in the University of Queensland , Australia as a result of many years’ research on adults with an intellectual disability.The programme has been running in various parts of Australia for over ten years with great success. Down Syndrome Ireland  purchased the licence to roll out the programme here, the first country outside of Australia to do so. The professors who devised the programme visit Ireland to train the teachers and tutors and  to oversee the classes from time to time. Head Office of DSI also monitor the classes on an on-going basis.Ten other centres in Ireland have the programme up and running.

The classes take place in a room in the HSE building in the Cinema car-park. There are seven students (Minimum 6, max12) and they attend two days per week- Wed and Fri for twenty-six weeks per year for two years. Expenses are high with no support from Head Office.We pay the teacher and tutor , pay Head Office a very high fee for the use of the licence and training of teacher and tutor and buy equipment and materials. Each student has his /her own lap-top.Parents pay a weekly fee and we have also done a lot of fund-raising so finally got up and running in September.So far students, parents and teachers are very happy with the course.

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