IN PICTURES: Tipperary adults with Down syndrome recognised for literacy achievements – Page 1 of 4

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Back row: Kevin Landers and Kaye Mullaney, Tipperary ETB, Ann-Marie Lynch, Dabhorin O’Gorman, Eddie Ryan and Mary Kelleher, Colin Cummins, Jeanne Roche and Linda McCormack, Tipperary ETB.
First row: The cast includes Eimear Ryan, Anna Beth Ryan, Mary Roche Cleary Tipperary ETB, Amanda Conlon and Gerard O’Dwyer.

Sixteen students from Latch-On groups in Cahir and Thurles were honoured by the Tipperary Education and Training Board (ETB) at a recent graduation ceremony for their two-year literacy programme.

The event, held at the TUS Thurles campus on Monday 17 June, celebrated the achievements of participants in the Literacy and Technology Hands-On (Latch-On) programme – a unique literacy programme for adults with Down syndrome.

The Latch-On programme started in September 2022 in partnership with Down Syndrome Ireland. There were two classes, one in Cahir and the other in Thurles, both with eight participants, running two days a week.

The course was managed by Adult Literacy Organisers, Mary Roche Cleary in Cahir and Mary Jo Kennedy-Deegan in Thurles. Day-to-day course co-ordination was handled by resource workers Kevin Landers and Jackie Flanagan.

Linda McCormack and Jeanne Roche (teachers from Cahir) and Lorraine Treacy and Áine Knightly (teachers from Thurles) ensured that the students experienced a very positive, inclusive and supportive environment in which they were encouraged to acquire independent living skills.

Developed at the University of Queensland in Australia, Latch-On is now taught in centres across Ireland for adults with Down syndrome. The course content is designed to give students the opportunity to access all types of literacy, from viewing to reading and writing.

All pupils and their families had a fantastic time at the graduation ceremony in Thurles, where the wonderful experiences and hard work of the pupils were documented.

Tipperary ETB wishes all participants every success in their continued journey of lifelong learning.

Photos: Odhran Ducie