Trinity is committed to supporting students on professional placements and course based internships (paid and unpaid). The Disability Service works with students and course placements & internship staff to ensure that students with disabilities are reasonably accommodated.
The Disability Service has developed Placement/Internship Planning supports as outlined below. Planning involves all stakeholders including the student, course and placement/internship to ensure disability supports can be put in place. It allows the course, the placement/internship (employer) and the student to work together to ensure that students with disabilities are reasonably accommodated while on placement/internship. Failure by course providers or employers to make reasonable accommodations for a student with a disability on placement/internship can be unlawful discrimination. The central element of placement/internship planning is a process of communication and information sharing. This process plays a key role in ensuring that students and staff in the placement/internship are confident and enabled to:
- Clearly define learning outcomes and core competencies expected of students on placement/internship
- Participate and understand effective disclosure/confidentiality process
- Identify students’ placement/internship and learning needs
- Provide and explain placement/internship reasonable accommodations
- Maintain academic and professional standards
- Ensure the safety of students, staff and members of the public
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
Level 1: Placement/Internship 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 placement/internship courses who are unsure of any need for placement/internship supports, or who need to discuss supports with the course placement/internship co-ordinator. The LENS report will state the following:
- Student is encouraged to discuss any disability supports required on placement/internship with the Academic contact and/or Placement/Internship Co-ordinator of their course. Student can be referred back to Disability Service for placement/internship planning supports - Level 2 - Placement/Internship Planning, if and when required.
Students can be referred back to the Disability Service for placement/internship 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/internship supports and can request a review with their disability service contact.
Level 2: Placement/Internship Planning
The two-step process to Level 2 and production of a Placement/Internship Learning Educational Needs Summary report - PLENS
Step 1 - Student carries out a detailed placement/internship Needs Assessment and identifies any reasonable accommodations required to assist them in completing their placement/internship. A draft Placement/Internship Learning Education Needs Summary report (PLENS) is sent to the student’s portal in my.tcd.ie and the placement/internship co-ordinator. The student is encouraged to discuss these reasonable accommodation recommendations with their placement/internship co-ordinator to ensure these are appropriate and available on their upcoming placement/internship. If reasonable accommodations are agreed and confirmed to the Disability Service, the PLENS will be finalised and sent to the student and the placement/internship co-ordinator. If there is a need to have a placement/internship meeting with the course, the placement/internship providers, and the Disability Officer, any party can activate a meeting at this stage – see step 2.
Step 2 - Formal placement/internship planning meeting with the student, Disability Officer, course placement/internship co-ordinator and/or the placement/internship contact. This meeting is to decide on any placement/internship reasonable accommodations that are necessary for practice placement. This is an opportunity to discuss the core competencies expected of the student on their placement/internship, reasonable accommodations that may need to be arranged, any safety issues discussed and any disclosure/confidentiality concerns that may exist.
Following the placement/internship planning meeting, the student’s Disability Officer prepares an individual Placement/Internship Learning Educational Needs Summary (PLENS) detailing the Reasonable Accommodations to be implemented. These Reasonable Accommodations are determined in consultation with the Placement/Internship Co-ordinator and 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/internship providers is also agreed and documented in the PLENS to ensure confidentiality.
The relevant School staff (e.g. placement/internship 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/internship 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/internship 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
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.
The following reasonable accommodations on placement/internship 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/internship educators in thinking about what can work in their respective placement/internship sites.
All reasonable accommodations requested and rationale is available for download here Professional Placement Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities is available here.