Students with Disabilities and Specific Learning DifficultiesGeorgina Callister 2018
Sessions outcomes • To raise awareness of the need for provision of placements for students with disabilities • To raise awareness of specific problems experienced by students with disabilities • To identify practical strategies to facilitate placement provision • To share experiences of students / staff with disabilities and support systems available
Consider? • Are we setting up these students to fail? • What is a reasonable adjustment?
Consider? • What would your management, colleagues, service users say if you told them you were taking a student with: • a visual impairment or hearing impairment or • nut allergy or chronic fatigue syndrome or • wheelchair user or cerebral palsy or • dyslexia or mental health issues or • Autism or ADHD or anorexia or an assistance dog? • Could you accommodate a student with a disability in your area? • Would you?
Widened access to university education has meant an increase in the number of students with disabilities (Specific Learning Disabilities eg: Dyslexia) • In 2015 (England) 14% of all undergraduate students in higher education self-assessed themselves as having a disability • Dyslexia occurs worldwide irrespective of culture, gender or nationality. There is an estimated population incidence in the U.K. of 10% • www.bda-dyslexia.org.uk • U.K. HEI statistics demonstrate yearly increases in students enrolling & graduating with dyslexia. In 2016 (18% of enrolled OT student had dyslexia) Incidence of Disability amongst Students
Amendment to part IV of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA 1995) resulted in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (SENDA 2001) • Introduced statutory duties and responsibilities promoting non-discrimination of students with disabilities • included the need to develop and provide ‘anticipatory adjustments’ within all higher educational institutions Legislation
NHS has a responsibility to anticipate the needs of students with disabilities • SENDA (2001) should be applied in ‘good faith’ in all NHS settings consistent with the ethos of Looking Beyond Labels (2001) • a UK strategy document seeking to widen employment opportunities in the health services for people with disabilities. Legislation
Defines disability • How PEs can provide support for students • Examples for PEs on how to make reasonable adjustments • If the student is fit enough to complete the course every effort should be made for them to do this from both the university and the placement service. • Key judgement is whether student is able to fulfil the Standards of Proficiency HCPC (2015) Publication
Opportunities provided for students to discuss specific needs with Personal Tutors – every student has a PT • Information can only be given to others on permission of the student (Data Protection Act (1998) – students sign their SPLD Action plan & this states it will be shared with those who need to know ie: placement providers • Students have the right NOT to declare a disability- there can be no charge of discrimination if this is the case • Students ARE encouraged to disclose their requirements to the placement provider so that support can be provided – to have that conversation so support can be given Position statement
Shared responsibility for support between HEI, student, disability support service and placement • The need for adequate pre-placement planning • Reasonable adjustments to be negotiated and put in place prior to commencement of placement Key Themes Identified as Essential for Effective Support on Placement
Need for clarity about disclosure and in particular whether a disclosure to the programme constitutes a disclosure to the placement • Communication and negotiation to be enhanced between all parties at all stages, including pre-enrolment • The contribution that students with disabilities can make to placements (and the profession) needs to and should be valued • Wray et al. (2005a) Key Themes Continued
Application process: • Discussion with Disability Officer • Suitability for Programme: OH clearance • LiSS: • Coping mechanisms • Academic skills • Specific Action Plans: • Identify reasonable adjustments required by that student • Eg: Extra time in assessments; use of a scribe; laptop; rest periods, travel time; reasonable adjustments for placements University support
University support • Placement Learning Support Plan (PLSP) • Written by student / Personal Tutor • Sent to placement prior to commencement of placement • Pre placement risk assessment ? • Pre placement visit?
What is a reasonable adjustment? • The adjustments that are reasonable will depend on individual circumstances • the type of placement • nature of it • length • the importance of the placement to the course or to the particular student’s learning
Using lower shelves for students • Shutting cabinet doors/ filing cabinet drawers • Using an office on ground floor • Word processing information (rather than hand written) • Allowing longer to write a report (how much longer – 25%) • Allowing regular breaks • Being able to eat when necessary • Lights left on • Noise levels kept low • A quiet room • Etcetc etc…….. Examples of Adjustments
Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (2003) Supporting Disabled Physiotherapy Students on Clinical Placements. • College of Occupational Therapists (2004) Guidance on Disability and Learning • Health Professions Council (2006) A Disabled Persons Guide to becoming a Health Professional • Morris. D. & Turnbull. P. (2006) Clinical Experiences of students with dyslexia. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Journal of Advanced Nursing. • Morris. D.K. & Turnbull. P.A. (2007) The disclosure of dyslexia in clinical practice: Experiences of student nurses in the United Kingdom. Nurse Education Today.27,35-42. • Sanderson-Mann. J. & McCandless. F. (2006) Understanding dyslexia and nurse education in the clinical setting. Nurse Education in Practice 6, 127-133. • Wray et al.(2005a) The PEdDS Project: Disabled Social Work Students and Placements. Hull: The University of Hull.Available at www.hull.ac.uk/pedds • Wright. D.J. & Eathorne. V. (2003) Supporting Students with Disabilities. Nursing Standard 18 (11), 37 – 42. • www.bda-dyslexia.org.uk • www.disabilitytoolkits.ac.uk/academics/ • www.skill.org.uk REFERENCES