College of Nursing Disability Policy
Nursing Students with Disabilities: Admission and Progression in the Bachelor of Nursing Program and the Baccalaureate Program for Registered Nurses

 

Preamble

 

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:

  • Posted on College of Nursing website
  • Included in recruitment materials
  • Presented in information workshops
  • Discussed in Introduction to Nursing (NURS 1280) and Human Growth and Development (NURS 1260) courses
  • Discussed in Seminar in Professional Nursing Foundations (NURS 3430)
  • Discussed in all clinical course orientations
  • Discussed in general faculty orientation
 Accommodations Team

 

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.

 

Procedures

 

Disability Related Situations Arising Prior to the Academic Term

  • Students shall review the Requisite Skills and Attributes list prior to start of the academic term
  • Students with pre-existing disabilities that may affect clinical and/or classroom experience shall notify Disability Services (DS) of acceptance into College of Nursing as soon as possible after receiving an acceptance letter.
  • DS shall meet with the student to develop accommodations as per University of Manitoba policy Accessibility for Students with Disabilities.
  • The Accommodations Team shall receive notification of all accommodations in a timely manner. The Team meets in August to review and discuss situations which may require accommodation for the clinical area, or require other consideration.
  • The Accommodations Team shall meet with the students requiring accommodation for the clinical area to develop an IAP. One copy of the IAP shall be given to the student and one copy to the current Clinical Course Leader, who shall discuss it with the Clinical Education Facilitator. The IAP shall not state the student’s disability. Only the accommodations shall be described.
  • Accommodations Team meeting notes shall be stored in the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Program’s office. Only the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs and Chair of the Accommodations Team shall have access to these meeting notes.
  • The IAP of Four-Year Baccalaureate of Nursing students shall be reviewed at the midterm and final evaluation of each term by the Clinical Course Leader/Clinical Education Facilitator and the student. The IAP Review Form is to be completed by the Clinical Course Leader/Clinical Education Facilitator and the student. Concerns related to accommodations shall be referred to the Chair of the Accommodations Team. The IAP Review Forms shall be stored in the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Program’s office. Only the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs and Chair of the Accommodations Team shall have access to these Review Forms. In the case of BPRN students the course leader and student will determine when the IAP should be evaluated.
Disability Related Situations Arising During the Academic Term
  • Students must be registered with DS in order to receive accommodations. Those students who become aware of disability requiring accommodation during the academic term shall notify both DS and the appropriate health care provider to obtain necessary documentation for registering with DS.
  • DS shall meet with the student to develop accommodations as per University of Manitoba policy Accessibility for Students with Disabilities.
  • DS shall notify the Chair of the Accommodations Team of the student’s accommodations.
  • The Chair of the Accommodations Team, the Coordinator of the University of Manitoba Disability Services (or designate), Course Leader/Clinical Education Facilitator and student shall develop an interim IAP to be used for the balance of the academic term.
  • The interim IAP shall be reviewed at the midterm and/or final evaluation by the Clinical Course Leader/Clinical Education Facilitator and the student. The IAP Review Form is to be completed by the Clinical Course Leader/Clinical Education Facilitator and the student. Concerns related to accommodations shall be referred to the Chair of the Accommodations Team.
  • The IAP will be considered at the next meeting of the Accommodations Team, prior to the start of the next academic term.
  • Students who have concerns about this process should contact Student Advocacy.
Changes to the IAP during the Academic Term
  • When a student finds the IAP requires adjustment, he/she shall immediately contact Disability Services, the Clinical Education Facilitator or the Clinical Course Leader in the respective clinical course, who shall in turn bring the matter forward to the Chair of the Accommodations Team.
  • The Chair of the Accommodations Team shall discuss the IAP Review Form with the student, clinical course leader and DS. Concerns regarding the IAP can often be resolved informally at this level for the remainder of the academic term.
  • If changes to the IAP cannot be agreed upon by the Chair of the Accommodations Team, the student, clinical course leader, and DS, the full Accommodations Team shall be convened to consider the matter.
  • 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.
Responsibilities

 

Student Responsibilities

 

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:

  • Review the Requisite Skills and Attributes list;
  • Notify DS if they are aware that they require accommodations. Newly admitted students with pre-existing disabilities that may affect clinical and/or classroom experience must notify Disability Services as soon as possible after receiving their acceptance letter from the College of Nursing. Applicants are advised that the Accommodations team meets in early August to facilitate student transition to the College of Nursing;
  • Notify DS, the Course Leader or the Clinical Education Facilitator if they become aware of a disability requiring accommodation during their course of study. This notification is to be made  as soon as possible, to facilitate development of an IAP as appropriate;
  • If necessary, the student will meet with the Accommodations Team to develop accommodations for the clinical area. The Accommodations Team will notify students if they are required to attend such a meeting. Not all students will require accommodation in the clinical area.
  • If applicable, the student is to have in place and become proficient  in the use of any devices for providing reasonable accommodation prior to entering clinical practice;
  • The student is to contact Clinical Course Leaders prior to the commencement of each clinical course to discuss implementation of the IAP (if one has been developed);
  • When a student finds the IAP requires adjustment, he/she shall immediately contact Disability Services, the Clinical Education Facilitator or the Clinical Course Leader in the respective clinical course, who shall in turn bring the matter forward to the Chair of the Accommodations Team.
Faculty Member Responsibilities

 

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:

  • Maintain the academic integrity of the Four-Year Baccalaureate of Nursing Program and Baccalaureate Program for Registered Nurses;
  • Create a learning environment respectful of diversity, privacy and confidentiality;
  • Work with the Accommodations Team and the student to implement reasonable accommodation in an accepting, supportive environment;
  • Work with the student and Accommodations Team to evaluate the reasonable accommodation; and,
  • Refer issues related to the IAP which arise during a course to the Chair of the Accommodations Team.
Disability Services Responsibilities

 

Disability Services (DS) is responsible for:

  • Appointing an individual who will collaborate with students and faculty members to develop the IAP;
  • Directing students to College of Nursing policies as appropriate; and
  • Communicating student accommodation letters and IAP to Faculty members.

DS creates equal access for students with disabilities at the University of Manitoba by:

  • Providing supports and programs that recognize our diverse student environment;
  • Promoting partnerships between students, faculty and staff; and
  • Educating the university community about accessibility.

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.

 

Please see the University of Manitoba Accessibility for Students with Disabilities policy and the Accessibility for Student with Disabilities procedures.

 

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.

 

Appeals

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.

 

Document Review

The Accommodation Team will review this implementation policy annually for the first three years and biannually thereafter.

 

Cross Reference

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.