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

Introduction

The number of students with disabilities studying professional course has increased significantly over the last three years, increasing by 68%. 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

Students with disabilities on Professional Courses in Trinity College Dublin

For a full list of students on professional placement for 2013 to 2017 please click on the link below:

Statistics for students with disabilities on Professional Courses in Trinity College Dublin

Procedures for assessing placement reasonable accommodations in Trinity College

Pacemetn planning procedure

The Professional Placement Planning support (PPP), for students with disabilities allows the course, the placement (employer), and the student to work together to ensure that students with disabilities have been reasonably accommodated while on professional placement.

Level 1: Professional Learning Education Needs Summary - PLENS

Level 1 should apply to all new entrants on professional courses who are unsure of any need for placement supports, or who need to discuss supports with the course placement person.

All students with disabilities on professional courses are defined as students requiring additional disability support and will have a needs assessment (NA), to determine supports while in their course of study and on placement. A PLENS report will be produced out of the NA and levels of disclosure agreed. Once approved by the student the PLENS will be sent to the course contact who may discuss placement supports and will send to the placement contact. If it is determined that a student requires additional placement supports, students will be referred back to the DS for Level 2 supports.

Level 2: Professional Placement Planning meeting

Two-step process to Level 2 – PLENS

Step 1

Student carries out a detailed needs assessment and identifies any reasonable accommodations required to assist them in successfully completing their placements. The student is encouraged to discuss these reasonable accommodation recommendations with the placement co-ordinator of their course to ensure these are appropriate and available on their upcoming placement. If there is a need to have a meeting with the placement site and the Disability Officer, either party can activate a meeting at this stage.

Step 2

Formal placement planning meeting with the student, DO, course placement contact and/or the placement contact. This is 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. A review of the PLENS report can take place at this stage to ensure all disability and placement requirements are captured. A referral to Occupational Therapy Support maybe required to assist this level of support.

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 https://www.tcd.ie/disability/teaching-info/RA-on-Placement.php and a downloadable copy of Professional Placement Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities is available here.

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