The central goal of the College of Nursing Four-Year Baccalaureate Program is to prepare graduates who are able to provide safe, compassionate, competent and ethical nursing care consistent with entry-level competencies as defined by the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba. The goal of the Baccalaureate Program for Registered Nurses (BPRN) is individual career development and advancement of nursing practice. Admission criteria are designed to select academically qualified students with the potential to be successful in the program and ultimately the profession. The student population should reflect the diversity of Canadian society, including people with disabilities.
The Canadian Human Rights Act (Canada) (R.S., 1985, c.H-6) defines disability as physical or psychological, permanent or temporary impairments. The Manitoba Human Rights Commission (1998) further states that “A disability becomes a handicap when it interferes with the activity to be done, but it is often possible to remove the handicap by making adjustments in the work or living environment.” The Human Rights Code (Manitoba) (C.C.S.M. c. H175) requires that all individuals be accorded equality of opportunity, and that reasonable accommodation be made for those with special needs. The University of Manitoba is committed to facilitating the integration of students with disabilities into the University community. This is to be accomplished through reasonable accommodation, described as a modification to the way things are usually done, resulting in greater equality of opportunity and participation (Manitoba Human Rights Commission, 2004). The University of Manitoba is specifically committed to reasonable accommodation of the needs of persons with documented disabilities by making efforts to create a barrier-free campus and provide other supports and services within the limits of available resources. The University endeavours to meet the identified needs of each student by adapting services, courses, and programs as feasible and as resources allow, while maintaining appropriate academic standards.
The College of Nursing recognizes there are multiple perspectives on disability. The Social Model of Disability shifted the concept of disability from residing within the individual to being a byproduct of the social world (Barnes, Oliver & Barton, 2002). Impairment is described as a bodily attribute, while disability is the result of social barriers that prevent the person with physical impairments from participating in society. The College of Nursing’s goal is to reduce barriers for academically qualified students through collaboration between the Faculty members, staff, Disability Services and the student. All nursing students are required to meet program expectations.
Accommodation of Students with Disabilities
Dissemination of the Policy
The documents “Nursing Students with Disabilities: Admission and Progression in the Four-Year Baccalaureate Nursing Program and the Baccalaureate Program for Registered Nurses” and “College of Nursing Representative Skills, Abilities, and Capacities of the Four-Year Baccalaureate of Nursing Program” are to be disseminated in the following manner:
The Four-Year Baccalaureate of Nursing Program includes theory, laboratory and clinical courses. This policy addresses disability related issues as defined within the University of Manitoba context in all courses, with a particular focus on clinical practice courses. Reporting to the Council of the College of Nursing, the Accommodations Team consists of a Chair (appointed by the Dean of the College of Nursing), the Coordinator of the University of Manitoba Disability Services (or designate) and two full time faculty members. The purpose of the Accommodations Team is to provide a systematic preplanned collaborative effort to develop reasonable accommodation strategies for courses in the Four-Year Baccalaureate of Nursing Program, with a particular focus on clinical courses. When appropriate, the Accommodations Team develops an Individualized Accommodation Plan (the “IAP”), designed to implement reasonable accommodation and reduce barriers. Accommodations Team recommendations will take into consideration the individual student’s needs, program requirements and available resources. The student may be invited to meet with the Accommodation Team prior to commencing clinical practice courses, or at other times as appropriate. The Accommodations Team will address issues with students in the BPRN program as they arise. The BPRN Coordinator or designate shall attend any meetings in regards to BPRN students.
Disability Related Situations Arising Prior to the Academic Term
Students are responsible for practicing in a safe, compassionate, competent and ethical manner, part of which is to understand how their own disability requires accommodation in the clinical and classroom setting. This expectation for students is consistent with the ethical value of providing safe, compassionate, competent and ethical nursing care, a standard which nursing students are expected to attain (Canadian Nurses Association, 2008).
While the student with a disability must be able to demonstrate requisite clinical skills and abilities independently, there may be a few circumstances in which an intermediary may be appropriate. However, no disability can be accommodated if the intermediary has to provide cognitive support, substitute for cognitive skills, perform a physical examination and/or in any way supplement clinical and ethical judgment.
The student is expected to:
Faculty Members include the Dean, Associate Deans, Four Year Undergraduate Coordinator, Professors, Lecturers, Instructors, Clinical Course Leaders and Clinical Education Facilitators.
All Faculty members are expected to:
Disability Services (DS) is responsible for:
DS creates equal access for students with disabilities at the University of Manitoba by:
DS provides support and advocacy for students with disabilities of all kinds: hearing, learning, injury-related, mental health, medical, physical or visual. Students with temporary disabilities such as sprains and breaks are also eligible to use the services. DS provides accommodations to students with documented disabilities. Accommodations include any service, equipment, or special arrangement that is put in place to support students’ activities at the University of Manitoba. All accommodations must be recommended and verified by an appropriate professional as designated by DS. Because accommodations are tailored to each individual, students must first meet with an Accessibility Advisor to determine appropriate accommodations while at the University of Manitoba.
Challenges regarding Accommodations
A student who disagrees with the recommendations of the Accommodation Team should first address concerns to Disability Services or the Accommodation Team. Concerns can often be resolved informally with DS or the Accommodation team. Any challenges or concerns not resolved at this level should be referred to section 2.14 of the University of Manitoba Policy Accessibility for Students with Disabilities.
A student has the right to appeal through the Student Appeal Committee within the College of Nursing. The student may appeal a judgment to the relevant appeal committee of the University of Manitoba. Students are encouraged to consult with Student Advocacy office for information and assistance about the appeal process.
The Accommodation Team will review this implementation policy annually for the first three years and biannually thereafter.
University of Manitoba Policy Accessibility for Students with Disabilities
College of Nursing Representative Skills, Abilities and Capacities in the Four-Year Baccalaureate of Nursing Program
Approved by the Council of the College of Nursing: September 18, 2009
Approved by the Senate Committee for Instruction and Evaluation: February 10, 2010
This document is adapted with permission from the document: “Accommodation Policy: Essential Skills and Abilities (Technical Standards) for Admission, Promotion and Graduation in the MD Program”, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, 2009.