STEP AHEAD is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.

Step Ahead launch in Dublin


STEP AHEAD is our new vocational assessment service to help young people affected by brain injury return to education, training or work. This is a national service offered free of charge to brain injury survivors aged between 18 and 29 years old. We have two centres in Dublin and Cork. Each centre provides one-to-one assessments led by a senior occupational therapist and supported by vocational facilitators. STEP AHEAD also provides essential information and education for employers, tutors and trainers who are supporting people affected by brain injury.

About our STEP AHEAD Vocational Assessment

A full assessment is carried out by one of our expert Occupational Therapists, highlighting the work skills, knowledge and experience of each STEP AHEAD participant. Our STEP AHEAD teams use specific assessment tools focused on an individual’s functional and work capacity in order to identify transferrable skills. Every STEP AHEAD participant is supported to develop a Personal Vocational Plan (PVP) which will enable them to set and achieve goals relating to education, training and employment.


STEP AHEAD will give every participant a chance to get involved in work-related tasks which they may find more challenging. This will identify their strengths and weaknesses.
STEP AHEAD will give feedback, make recommendations and provide supportive strategies.
STEP AHEAD will give assistance in setting vocational goals; which includes outlining potential work, training and education options.
STEP AHEAD will support the development of a sustainable working environment for the employee, employer, student, tutor and trainer.

Who can take part in STEP AHEAD?

All STEP AHEAD participants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have sustained an ABI
  • 18-29 years

STEP AHEAD Referrals must be:

  • In receipt of disability allowance or invalidity pension; or
  • In receipt of illness benefit for more than three months; or
  • Referred by a relevant organization or service supporting young people with disabilities i.e. Primary Care Teams, HSE Disability Services, Residential or Day Services

PLEASE NOTE: Under the terms of the funding, referrals from GPs and mainstream schools will not be eligible.

STEP AHEAD Referrals & Contact Details

Acquired Brain Injury Ireland STEP AHEAD
Call Emer Duffy, Senior Occupational Therapist: 086 603 7353 or email:

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