DkIT students raise awareness about Autism assistance dogs

18 June 2018

Short videos and social media were used in the ‘Paws For Thought’ project by final year Creative Arts, Media and Music students to raise awareness of the issues around getting an Autism assistance dog and educating the public on how to treat them.



Matthew Turnbull (21) from Clogherhead said,

“one big point brought to our attention is there is not one clear transparent model for getting an assistance dog. You have to start with your doctor and get a form signed and then there are 3 different associations.”

Once on a waiting list it can take up to 2 years for a suitable dog to be found and in that period, “you are expected to do some kind of fundraising while on the waiting list,” he added.

Alex Clarke (21), Drogheda said,“We also found that waiting lists can open and close. Sometimes it takes so long that the child grows out of the age where they need the dog.  Sometimes they just miss their opportunity.”

Aisling Conlon (22) said that to raise awareness and educate people about assistance dogs, “we did a series of 5 ‘Did You Know,’ videos and then a 6th one on the cost to raise awareness and let people know what these issues are.”

‘Paws For Thought,’ was among the projects by students on Communications, Film and Television Production, Music Production and Media Arts and Technologies programmes in DkIT which were showcased at Fís 18.

‘Inclusion’ was the theme of this year’s Fís and each of the projects explored a different aspect of what is, and isn’t inclusion.

Adele Commins, Head of Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music said the standard of work was “exceptionally high,” and, “we were thrilled to be sharing and celebrating the achievements and skills of our students.”

“This was a showcase of graduate work, of their scapstone project.  In many instances there is a practical component so there may be a game,  an app or maybe a website included.”

As well as family and friends, the college invites industry people to the exhibition and Adele said, “in recent years some of our students have got short term and long term positions from industry people who came to exhibition and were impressed.”

“Sometimes they come to the exhibition to find a student who has a skill in something and they see a project and say ‘that is what we are interested in.’”

The annual John Moore film award was revealed on the Fís 2018 launch night. 

The 2017 winner was the short film ‘Chancer,’ directed by graduate Hannah Conroy from Dunleer, county Louth.


Fís 2018  is a showcase of work by students in the Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music. To find out more about the courses offered in this area please click below: 

Creative Arts, Media & Music


For all media enquiries, please contact:

Thomas Redmond, Head of Marketing & Communications Manager at DkIT, T. +353 (0)42 9370410 M. +353 (0)851775488, E. thomas.redmond@dkit.ie