Inclusive Curriculum

Preparations for Fieldwork/Placement/Work Experience

It is important to remember that when a student with a disability goes on a practice/work placement that is a compulsory part of their course, the University has a duty to ensure that the student is not disadvantaged and any appropriate reasonable adjustments are put in place. Students will have support mechanisms related to their disabilities that are in place and easily accessible within the university and this may not be the same in a new context such as a placement. Therefore liaising with the student and supporting them in liaising with the placement provider is an important activity to ensure a smooth transition from university to placement.

If a student has a PLP check it also includes recommendations for placement. If these are not included refer the student to the university Disability Service so they can have the PLP amended. The Disability Service can also investigate if the student can get funding via disabled student allowance for any additional equipment or support related to the placement context

It is the university's responsibility to ensure that reasonable adjustments are put in place for disabled students during any practice/work placements and fieldtrips that are a compulsory element of their programme of study. Best practice has suggested the following procedure:

  1. Early pre placement/fieldwork/work experience interviews with the Personal tutor/Placement coordinator/Departmental Disability Tutor. Ensure this occurs well in advance of the placement to allow time for any adaptations to be made or equipment to be supplied.
  2. Completion of a Pre placement Assessment of needs form or Fieldwork Review Checklist. (see below)
  3. Identification of support needs within the new context
  4. Development/Adaptation of a PLP for the new context with support from the MMU Disability Service
  5. Referral for advice if required
  6. Pre placement/work experience visit with placement/work experience supervisor – if required.
  7. Regular review/monitoring by the academic liaison tutor.

Useful resources

Kath Botham and Joanne Nicholson have co-authored a journal article on 'Supporting the transition of disabled students from university to practice placement' which is available online.

 

The placement and fieldwork procedure documents above were originally designed for the placement structure in the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care and the fieldwork structure in the School of Science and the Environment at Manchester Metropolitan University. Please feel free to adapt the pro-forma to meet your programme's placement structure. We are happy for these documents to be circulated outside Manchester Met as long as the authors and Manchester Metropolitan University are acknowledged (Placements docs authors: K. Botham, Senior Lecturer UTA, J.Nicholson Senior Lecturer/Clinical Education Coordinator Physiotherapy, Fieldwork Review doc author: T.Nicholson Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow, School of Science and the Environment). We would also appreciate any feedback on the use of the procedure as we are continually reviewing the process.