PSU Field Placement Accessibility
All individuals (with or without disabilities) must meet the essential functions of the job or experience and meet all performance expectations (with or without reasonable accommodations) in order to successfully complete field placements*.
If a student discloses they have a disability (or the nature of their disability), medical condition, or need for accommodations to anyone other than the Disability Resource Center (DRC), the student should be referred to the DRC immediately. The DRC is the only entity at P.S.U. authorized to collect medical documentation or specifics about a student’s disability. Site placement supervisors, field placement coordinators, instructors, and others outside of the DRC should not request information as to whether an applicant or student participant has a disability (or what the specifics of the disability are). It is the student’s responsibility to request reasonable accommodations if they are needed, by contacting the DRC. Until accommodations are approved and put in place (as per the process below), the student should be held to the same expectations throughout their field experience as any other student.
*“Field Placements” include any practicum, field experience, student teaching, clinical practice, internship, training, clinic, capstones/community partnerships, co-ops, or work experiences conducted for academic credit.
It is important for the student to identify and/or select environments that are as accessible as possible for the student’s specific purposes and maximize their strengths. Students work first with their DRC Access Counselors & Consultants (AC&C) as early as possible, preferably right after the student has been admitted to the program. Together, they can work to identify the characteristics of an optimal field placement* for the student. The DRC can then collaborate with the academic department and field placement* supervisor to ensure that the placement is a realistic option for this student. If this process is successful, the student may end up in an accessible placement where accommodations are not needed.
Requests for Accommodations
The process of requesting accommodations for field placements* should begin with a conversation between the student and the DRC Access Counselor & Consultant (AC&C). It is best that the request for accommodations is made as soon after the student secures a field placement as possible. The process of determining reasonable accommodations in field* is collaborative so the initial discussion with the DRC AC&C will then lead to subsequent conversations most likely involving the DRC Director, the program’s Field Placement Coordinator, and the Field Placement Site Supervisor.
If a student decides to notify their academic department or site of their disability and/or need for accommodations first, those informed individuals will alert the DRC of the request and the student will be referred to the DRC to officially begin the process of requesting accommodations. . If a student does not disclose a disability to, or request accommodations through the DRC, the student may be held to the same expectations as all other field placement* participants.
Finally, accommodations cannot be applied retroactively, meaning that all accommodations are official from the day the DRC sends field accommodation letters to the student’s site supervisor and moving forward.
- Register with the DRC in a timely manner (accommodations are only active from the time they are approved and cannot be applied retroactively)
- Inform the DRC Access Counselor & Consultant (AC&C) about the need for an accessible field placement* and participate in discussions about accessibility and accommodation needs.
- Throughout the field experience*, and as early as possible, alert the AC&C if any concerns arise about accommodations not being met or about the need for additional accommodations.
- If a student believes that they are being discriminated against based on a disability or any protected class, the student should contact the Office of Equity and Compliance.
- Please note that P.S.U.’s Office of Equity and Compliance cannot investigate complaints against employees outside of P.S.U., such as a field supervisor at an agency or company, but can assist a student in referring the complaint to the appropriate person at their field site. The Office of Equity and Compliance can be reached at 503-725-5919 or email@example.com.
DRC Access Counselor & Consultant (AC&C) Responsibilities
- In initial appointments with students enrolled in academic programs where field placement* is a required experience, AC&Cs will discuss field placement* accessibility and process for requesting accommodations.
- Upon receiving notification from a student that they need accessibility or accommodations in an upcoming field placement*, the AC&C will have the student complete a Release of Information form, allowing the university to communicate with the site supervisor about the student’s limitations and/or accommodations in the case that it becomes necessary. See our information about confidentiality.
- After having met with the student, the AC&C will collaborate with the DRC Director, the student’s P.S.U. Field Placement coordinator, and the agency/company/on-site supervisor to discuss the student’s accommodation request.
- After reasonable accommodations have been determined, the DRC will create and distribute the student’s Field Placement Accommodation Letter to all who have been involved.
- The AC&C provides consultation to academic departments, site supervisors, and/or students during the field placement* when adjustments to accommodations may be required or questions arise regarding what is a reasonable accommodation.
Site Placement Supervisor/Field Placement Coordinator Responsibilities
- The P.S.U. academic department field placement coordinator will collaborate with the DRC in assisting the student with evaluating the fit of various field placement* options. Note: this may only be possible if the student registers with the DRC immediately after being accepted into the program, depending on the program itself.
- The site supervisor will alert the academic department if the student discusses their disability or the need for accommodations when they are not already receiving accommodations through the DRC.
- The P.S.U. academic department field placement coordinator will alert the DRC about any concerns they may have about accommodations not being met by field placement* site.