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Professional Placement Planning Front image of the placement booklet - click to download

  • Introduction
  • Procedures for assessing placement reasonable accommodations in Trinity College
  • Reasonable Accommodations on Placement
  • What is a Professional LENS ?
  • Introduction

    The numbers of students with disabilities studying professional course has increased significantly over the last three years, increasing by 68%, see latest data here Students with disabilities on Professional Courses in Trinity College Dublin. To ensure students with disabilities are adequately supported the Disability Service has developed the Professional Placement Planning support programme.

    This is aimed at all stakeholders including students, courses and placements to ensure disability supports can be put in place. It allows the professional course, the placement (employer) and the student to work together to ensure that students with disabilities have been reasonably accommodated on placement. Failure by course providers or employers to make reasonable accommodations for a student with a disability on a professional placement can be unlawful discrimination. The central element of placement planning is a process of communication and information sharing. This process plays a key role in ensuring that students and staff in the placement are confident and enabled to:

        • Clearly define learning outcomes and core competencies expected of students on professional placements
        • Participate and understand effective disclosure/confidentiality process
        • Identify students’ practice placement needs and their learning needs
        • Provide and explain practice placement reasonable accommodations
        • Maintain academic and professional standards

    Ensure the safety of students, staff and members of the public

    Procedures for assessing placement reasonable accommodations in Trinity College

      • The professional planning process involves a discussion at the initial needs assessment when the student registers with the Disability Service – all students entering professional courses in 2016-2017 will have a Professional LENS produced. This will allow student and course contact to have a discussion on any placement supports required.
      • Student may be referred to the Occupational Therapist to discuss disability needs and placement supports.
      • Student decides what level of support they require under 3 levels:

    Level 1:Professional Course LENS

    All students with disabilities on professional courses and registering with the DS will receive a Professional LENS (PLENS) report with professional placement suggested supports. This will be disseminated to the Course contact who will discuss placement supports and ensure information is forwarded to the placement site contact.  Students will be self-managing their disability requirements and will seek support from the course and/or the DS if required.

    Level 2: Placement planning supports

    Students may be referred to an Occupational Therapist to explore disability related reasonable accommodations required on placements, level of disclosure of disability required and how to manage disability - related issues on placement are covered at this stage. A review of the Professional Course LENS report can take place here to ensure all disability requirements are captured.
    Decision taken: At that stage - or later – the student decides whether or not they wish to proceed to the formal placement planning meeting stage which involves organizing a meeting with academic staff, placement staff and/or work based placement coordinators.

    Level 3:Professional Placement Planning meeting

    This formal placement planning meeting with the Course Placement contact and/or the placement contact will be arranged to decide on any reasonable accommodations that are necessary for practice placement. This is an opportunity to discuss the core competencies expected of the student on their placement, reasonable accommodations that may need to be arranged, any safety issues discussed and any disclosure/confidentiality concerns that may exist.

      • Following this meeting the student’s Professional LENS Report is produced which explains their reasonable accommodations for practice placement. With the student’s consent and agreement, this Placement Planning Report is then circulated to selected individuals within the department or school and then forwarded by them to the placement staff concerned.
      • At the beginning of the placement the student should meet their placement supervisor to confirm practice place reasonable accommodations and talk through these to ensure they are understood and fit for purpose in the placement situation.
      • Feedback throughout the placement is essential and all parties should ensure this is given - not just towards the end of the process.
      • Any difficulties arising with implementation of practice place reasonable accommodations should be discussed with all parties and revised accordingly to ensure the student be supported to meet the core competencies required.
      • If required, a review meeting will take place with all parties to ensure the student is reasonably accommodated.

    Reasonable Accommodations on Placement

    The following reasonable accommodations on placement are listed together with rationales given below which explain why the reasonable accommodation is requested and the intended benefit to the student.
    Real examples of these reasonable accommodations that have been implemented in practice are given to serve as evidence on how these reasonable accommodations work so as to assist placement educators in thinking about what can work in their respective placement sites.
    All reasonable accommodations requested and rationale can be found at Reasonable Accommodations on Placement and a downloadable copy of Professional Placement Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities is available here.
    Professional LENS report

    What is a Professional LENS report? Book image

    Reasonable accommodations that can be provided by the placement and the professional course on behalf of a student are requested in a Professional LENS report. These recommended reasonable accommodations are generally agreed in consultation/agreement with the Placement Co-ordinator and the Placement Educator. The Professional Placement process outlines the process taken and it is detailed below.

    Please note that while these are recommendations, College and placements has a duty to comply with the Equal Status Act, 2000-1 which provides that an educational establishment cannot discriminate in relation to the access of a student to any course, facility or benefit provided by the establishment and the Disability Act 2005, which places a statutory obligation on public service providers to support access to services and facilities for people with disabilities.

    Contacts in TCD Disability Service

    Declan Reilly, Disability Officer – reillyde@tcd.ie or 896 3776

    Declan Treanor, Disability Officer/Director – dtreanor@tcd.ie or 896 3475 


Last updated 13 September 2016 andrew.costello@tcd.ie (Email).