Project WAVE created for students with intellectual disabilities

Thursday, July 04, 2024

Atlantic Technological University (ATU) is currently accepting applications for Project WAVE, a new initiative supported through the Higher Education Authority Path 4 funding. 

This transformative two-year project is designed to provide individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to experience college life and education at ATU.

Project WAVE offers a comprehensive programme that addresses students’ social, academic, and vocational needs. Participants will attend classes with other students, engage in various clubs and societies, and fully immerse themselves in the vibrant campus community. The project allows students to choose from three ATU campuses for their studies: Sligo, Donegal, and Mayo. While the core curriculum remains consistent across all locations, elective subjects will vary based on the campus, ensuring a tailored educational experience.

The programme offers two distinct options for students:
•    Certificate in Personal and Vocational Development: This NFQ Level 6 Special Purpose Award comprises 60 credits over two years.
•    Certificate in Life Skills and Vocational Development: This NFQ Level 6 Special Purpose Award comprises 40 credits over two years.

Additionally, exit awards and digital badges are available, providing multiple options for programme participation. Central to the curriculum are mandatory modules designed to equip students with essential skills and knowledge, including Information Communications Technology, Employability Skills, and Learning Skills and Personal Development. Participants will also complete a work placement in the final semester.

Dr Michele Glacken, VP Students, Teaching & Learning & Registrar at ATU, said Project Wave is a further step towards inclusivity for those with interlectual disabilities, "This transformative step towards inclusive higher education aligns with ATU's core values of diversity and accessibility. We are excited to be part of this initiative and look forward to welcoming students with intellectual disabilities into our vibrant academic community. We have developed a new programme and plan to deliver the programme at our campuses in Letterkenny, Mayo, and Sligo from September 2024. We are putting in place a number of supports to enable the students to integrate fully into the university student body and have an enjoyable student experience."

Students participating in Project WAVE will be on campus 3-4 days per week, attending modules and participating in additional sessions with the WAVE staff, who provide necessary support for programme success. The programme will commence on September 3rd, 2024, with a two-week induction prior to the start of the semester.

ATU is currently accepting applications for Project WAVE, and the application period will remain open until 12 July. For further details on the programme and application process, please visit