- Students with disabilities on Professional Courses in Trinity College Dublin
- Procedures for assessing placement reasonable accommodations in Trinity College
- Reasonable Accommodations on Placement
The number of students with disabilities studying professional courses has increased significantly over the last number of years and to ensure students with disabilities are adequately supported the Disability Service has developed the 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 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 2018 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
Level 1: Professional Learning Education Needs Summary - PLENS
At Disability Service application, usually on entry students are provided with supports such as examination and academic reasonable accommodations. 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 co-ordinator. The LENS report will state the following:
- Student is encouraged to discuss any disability supports required on professional course and placement with the Academic contact and/or Placement Co-ordinator of their course. Student can be referred back to Disability Service for placement planning supports - Level 2 - Placement Planning, if and when required.
Students can be referred back to Disability Service for placement planning supports - Level 2 if and when required. In addition, Level 1 LENS applies to students with disabilities who are managing their disability well and do not require any additional disability supports. At any stage students in this category can decide if they need placement supports and can request a review with their disability service contact.
Level 2: Placement Planning
The two-step process to Level 2 and production of a Placement Learning Educational Needs Summary report - PLENS
Step 1 - Student carries out a detailed placement Needs Assessment and identifies any reasonable accommodations required to assist them in completing their placements. A draft Placement Learning Education Needs Summary report (PLENS) is sent to the student’s portal in my.tcd.ie and the placement co-ordinator. 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 reasonable accommodations are agreed and confirmed to the Disability Service, the PLENS will be finalised and sent to the student and the placement co-ordinator. If there is a need to have a placement meeting with the course, the placement providers, and the Disability Officer, any party can activate a meeting at this stage – see step 2.
Step 2 - Formal placement planning meeting with the student, Disability Officer, course placement contact and/or the placement contact. This meeting is to decide on any placement 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 the placement planning meeting, the student’s Disability Officer prepares an Individual Placement Learning Educational Needs Summary (PLENS) detailing the Reasonable Accommodations to be implemented. These Reasonable Accommodations are determined in consultation with the Placement Co-Ordinator and the Placement providers. The information outlined in the PLENS is communicated to the relevant School via the student record in SITS. Levels of disclosure to the external placement providers is also agreed and documented in the PLENS to ensure confidentiality.
Guidance to Schools on disseminating PLENS reports to Placement sites
The relevant School staff (e.g. placement/practice co-ordinator or allocations manager) has access to the agreed PLENS report via the student record in SITS and can share the PLENS to the placement location in line with the GDPR protocol for the distribution of PLENS reports to placements. Please note the following guidelines when disseminating PLENS reports to placement sites:
- Only provide the information to those with a legitimate right to it and for the purposes of implementing Reasonable Accommodations
- Ensure your School GDPR procedures include a section outlining how you manage disability data in SITS (See Disability Service Privacy Notice for an example of the level of information suggested here)
- Set out a clear process for the dissemination of disability data and share it with all in the School who will have access to this data
- Ensure all staff who have access to this disability data have completed the GDPR training provided by the Data Protection Office in Trinity. For more information on GDPR please click here.
- If and when downloading lists of students with reasonable accommodations password protect all downloads
- Store all lists securely in line with the University’s and your School GDPR procedures
- Do not email unprotected lists of disability data
- Do not send any unprotected data to non-Trinity email addresses
- Advice on how to password protect a PDF
Review of Support
Students who have applied for reasonable accommodation with the Disability Service will be contacted twice-yearly to review their support requirements. This process provides students with an opportunity to review and provide feedback on the quality of support received during the year. It also allows students to discuss their needs for the following academic year and to request changes to their support provision where additional support is required or support is no longer necessary. Students can contact the Disability Service for a review of their support at any time during the academic year if the impact of their disability changes or they do not feel the reasonable accommodations in place adequately address their needs.
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.