Dublin City University is the first university in Ireland to recognise the JAM Card, which helps people with disabilities who need ‘Just A Minute’.
DCU joins Bus Éireann, Dublin Bus, Iarnród Éireann, Irish Rail and the LUAS in recognising the card.
The initiative is designed to make life easier for members of the community who may, for example, have autism, acquired brain injury, a learning difficulty (or any hidden disability) which may mean that they need 'Just a Minute' to allow them to complete their business.
Some disabilities are hidden, and thus some interactions that are straight-forward for most of us, can be quite difficult for others.
What is the JAM Card?
JAM Card allows people with a learning difficulty, autism or communication barrier tell others they need ‘Just A Minute’ discreetly and easily. Those with a communication barrier are often reluctant or unable to tell others about their condition. JAM Card allows this to happen in a simple, effective non-verbal manner.
JAM Card was originally developed for those with learning disabilities and difficulties. However, it can be used by anyone with a communication barrier.
It was developed by participants of the NOW Group in Belfast.
Prof. Brian MacCraith, President of DCU, said
"I am proud to say that DCU is the first University on the island of Ireland to introduce the JAM Card. It builds on our well established track record as an inclusive University that is committed to values of Equality and Educational Opportunity.
We live in an impatient world that seems to be moving faster every day. By allowing extra time, the JAM Card helps everyone feel welcome in our university community. It offers them the chance to flourish and benefit from the ‘transformative student experience’ that DCU offers."
Dr Claire Bohan, Director of Student Support & Development, said
“The JAM Card will help us all realise that taking a few moments for each other is always a good thing. DCU is known for its student-centred ethos, and this initiative further reinforces the importance we place on the individual. It's a wonderfully simple but effective tool to remind us to slow down.''
Maeve Monaghan, Chief Executive of the NOW Group said
“For some people taking the step in to higher education can be very daunting. We are so pleased that a major institution like DCU recognises that the JAM Card can help break down some of these barriers. The JAM Card training that DCU staff have undertaken will help them recognise students with hidden disabilities and support them appropriately.”
About the NOW Group
The NOW Group is a social enterprise based in Belfast supporting people with learning difficulties and autism into jobs with a future. Their services focus on supporting people into employment, training, transition and volunteering. They also offer a family service to support new and expectant parents with a learning difficulty or autism
Where can I get a JAM Card?
JAM Cards will be available in the Disability & Learning Support Offices, through the Autism-Friendly Coordinator and at the Student Advice Centres on the Glasnevin and St Patrick's campuses. The app can also be downloaded for free.