We recognize that clinical settings are different from the classroom environment and as such, the necessary accommodations may differ from those you may have in place for classroom learning. If you are a student with a disability, we will work with you to determine and implement the accommodations that may be necessary in the setting of your clinical program. Our goal is to facilitate a collaborative effort to pre-plan accommodation needs and strategies with attention to the unique context of the specific placement.
We urge you to discuss your potential accommodation needs as soon as possible, and for those of you in programs where you will shortly be matched with a particular organization/firm, to do so prior to the match being made. Our past experience strongly suggests that early conversations about potential accommodation needs increase the likelihood of success in clinical programs. We encourage you to initiate this conversation by contacting your accessibility counsellor, Assistant Dean Mya Rimon, and/or your program director, each of whom is pleased to assist in identifying needs and developing an accommodation plan. If you have not already registered with Student Accessibility Services (SAS), this will be a necessary first step. (Note, however, that SAS is unable to communicate with Osgoode unless you give your consent.)
It will be your decision as to who you wish to bring into the planning discussion. However, in some instances, effective planning will point to the importance of including a person with detailed knowledge of the workplace where you will be undertaking your clinical placement (this could be the program director, a supervising lawyer, or another person). And indeed, in some instances it will only be possible to implement the accommodation with the involvement and agreement of the host organization. Assistant Dean Rimon is available to help facilitate these collaborative discussions and to monitor accommodation implementation.
We also appreciate that the need for a disability accommodation may arise during the clinical placement itself, and that the nature of the accommodations needed may change over time. In these circumstances, we urge you to be in touch with your accessibility counsellor, Assistance Dean Mya Rimon, or your program director, as soon as possible. In instances involving an immediate and short-term need for accommodations that might arise during the placement (for example, a broken arm) registration with SAS may not be necessary. If this might be your situation, please be in touch with Assistant Dean Mya Rimon.
Information and Equipment
At every stage, information will be shared only on an “as needed” basis. In no instance will this require the sharing of a medical diagnosis or assessment. Consistent with SAS policy and practices, this precludes program directors and clinical instructors from requesting further personal information from you or from SAS (e.g. medical/psychological documentation).
Where an accommodation requires the purchase of adaptive equipment or technology, students will be required to make reasonable efforts to apply for bursaries for which they may be eligible. In the event that no other source of funding is available, it will be the responsibility of Osgoode Hall Law School to work together with the placement organization to ensure that the equipment or technology necessary to ensure reasonable accommodations is in place. For further clarification, in cases where additional expenses are required, the costs will (i) be borne by Osgoode; except (ii) in those cases where purchases will provide ongoing benefits to the placement organization, the costs will be shared proportionately between Osgoode and the organization (as an example, where purchase of equipment is required that has a lifespan beyond the immediate need of the current student and which is likely to be used in the future).
In the unlikely event that no agreement can be reached between you, Osgoode Hall Law School, and the placement organization regarding the reasonable accommodations to be provided, the Associate Dean (Students) shall be consulted. Where disagreement remains unresolved after consultation with the Associate Dean (Students), a mediative process will be implemented by the Dean. In the event that reasonable accommodations cannot be implemented at the placement organization, the Law School – in consultation with you – will make its best efforts to locate a suitable alternative placement.
The following is a quick summary of what you can do to facilitate accommodation in an intensive or clinical program:
- Be in touch, as early as possible, with your accessibility counsellor, Assistant Dean Mya Rimon, and/or the director of your program to determine the nature of any accommodation needs and to develop an accommodation plan.
- To help determine whether accommodation might be required and if so, of what sort, arrange to spend some time at the placement setting, observing the workflow and processes. This can be arranged through the director of your program or Assistant Dean Mya Rimon, and without disclosing any disability or accommodation need.
- In the course of discerning the arrangements for accommodation, it is recognized that you are the best source of information about your individual disability. The program director and/or staff at the placement setting will be able to provide important information about work processes (in addition to insights you will glean from a site visit to observe). Through a collaborative process that brings these important sources of knowledge together, a plan for reasonable accommodation will be developed.
- At any point during the term of the placement, don’t hesitate be in touch with your program director, Assistant Dean Mya Rimon or your accessibility counsellor to review the accommodation plan, to promptly raise any concerns regarding how the accommodation plan is working, and/or to discuss adaptations necessary to meet changing needs or requirements.