Education

Supporting Nurses and Nursing Students with Disabilities

Supporting Nurses and Nursing Students with Disabilities
Neal-Boylan, Leslie PhD, RN, APRN, CRRN, FAAN; Marks, Beth PhD, RN; McCulloh, Karen J. BSN, RN
AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
October 2015 - Volume 115 - Issue 10 - p 11

Federal agencies and nursing organizations say it's high time to put aside preconceptions.
Nursing students and nurses with disabilities face discrimination and bias both in schools of nursing and in the workplace. This can be overt or subtle and can take many forms. In March 2014, nurses spoke up on behalf of, and with, nurses with disabilities at a policy roundtable in Washington, DC, cosponsored by the National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities (NOND) and the Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy. Representatives from several federal agencies and national nursing organizations attended the meeting, where a plan of action was developed through the collaboration of federal agencies, nursing and disability rights organizations, nurse educators, researchers, clinicians, and nurses with disabilities.
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Diversity among doctors: Students with disabilities are finding their place in medical schools—and beyond

Diversity among doctors: Students with disabilities are finding their place in medical schools—and beyond
Cathy Gulli
September 25, 2015
For Jessica Dunkley, getting into medical school was no ordinary childhood dream. Deaf since the day she was born, Dunkley aspired to become a doctor when, at age 10, her aunt gave her a plastic human anatomy model with removable organs.
She didn’t think it was possible until, in her mid-20s, she happened to read about deaf doctors practising in the United States. “I realized the opportunity was out there,” and she became “determined to do medicine.” Dunkley applied to numerous medical schools and, in 2010, completed the undergraduate program at the University of Ottawa, where a sign language interpreter accompanied her to class and clinical sessions. Today, Dunkley is finishing her second year of residency in public health and family medicine at the University of Alberta—making her one of the first deaf doctors in Canada.

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How is “Disability" Is Defined Differently in Federal Laws for Children & Adults?

How is “Disability" Is Defined Differently in Federal Laws for Children & Adults?

Pathways for Disabled Students to Tertiary Education and Employment: Country Report for the United States

This document is the Country Report produced by the United States in the context of the EDPC activity on Pathways for Disabled Students to Tertiary Education and Employment. It is one in a series of Country Reports prepared by the countries participating in this activity. Each Report is published under the responsibility of the country that has prepared it and the views expressed in this document remain those of the country author(s) and not necessarily those of the OECD or its member countries.
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Have you heard of the Soft Skills Curriculum?

Have you heard of the Soft Skills Curriculum?

Published on May 17, 2012 by US Department of Labor

"Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success," is a curriculum developed by ODEP focused on teaching "soft" or workforce readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities. The basic structure of the program is comprised of modular, hands-on, engaging activities that focus on six key skill areas: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism.

For more info on the
Soft Skills to Pay the Bills — Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success visit: http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/youth/softskills/.
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Disability.gov Education Resources

Disability.gov Education Resources

Find national and state resources on education for people with disabilities.

Screen Magnification/Reader Software

Screen Magnification/Reader Software

Learn how screen magnification software can assist individuals with low vision. Visit us online at http://cap.mil/
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If I Use a Wheelchair, How Can I Complete a Student Rotation in the Operating Suite?

If I Use a Wheelchair, How Can I Complete a Student Rotation in the Operating Suite?

First of all, does the nursing program absolutely require this rotation or could you meet learning objectives in another setting that would be less difficult logistically? If they are unwilling to let you move to another setting, you and your instructor can talk with the OR manager about a couple of options. You can disinfect your chair before entering the suite each day or you can use a chair kept in the suite for other purposes. The chair may not fit you well and be somewhat uncomfortable, especially if you consider your chair an extension of your body, but it will get you through the few days most programs allocate to this specialty.

See how one nursing student using a wheelchair adapted to situations like this in the film entitled
Open the Door, Get 'Em a Locker. In addition, here are some specific suggestions on organizations and resources to increase your awareness about your rights and responsibilities:

If I Use a Wheelchair, How Can I Care for Patients with Contact Precautions?



Disclaimer: The National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities (NOND) does not offer legal advice but NOND does offer resources to help you understand your rights, protections, and responsibilities within various Disability Rights Laws.

Are Private Schools Subject to the ADA?

Are private schools subject to the ADA?
by Bronwynne Evans
Yes, Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination in public accommodations. Private schools must eliminate unnecessary eligibility standards that deny access to individuals with disabilities, and make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures that deny access unless a fundamental alteration in the nature of the program would result. They also must furnish auxiliary aids such as interpreters, notetakers, or readers when necessary to ensure effective communication, unless an undue burden or fundamental alteration would result.
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Common Challenges for Nursing Students with Disabilities: Where to Start? Common Challenges for Nursing Students with Disabilities: Where to Start?

  • Common Challenges for Nursing Students with Disabilities: Where to Start?
  • by Beth Marks

Some common challenges for student nurses that we have seen relate to the following:
  1. limited information about accommodations;
  2. uncomfortable asking for accommodations;
  3. not aware of disability student (DS) services or the school has no DS Office;
  4. lack of role models;
  5. no mentors who share his or her disability status to be a resource;
  6. lack of faculty advocates;
  7. not knowing how to or if it is necessary to disclose a disability; and,
  8. not knowing civil rights and rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (e.g., lack of knowledge as to when and how rights are being violated).


For nurses who acquire a disability in practice, challenges often relate to lack of peer support, unfamiliarity with assistive devices, limited advocacy skills related to requesting accommodations and knowledge of the rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Attitudinal barriers remain the most significant barrier for students and nurses with disabilities. We are still rooted in a medical model of disabilities and have not embraced a socio-political lens for understanding disability, which would allow us to more readily see nurses with disabilities as valued health professionals.
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Can I Use a Calculator in Clinical Practice

I Have Dyscalculia: Can I Use a Calculator in School and in Clinical Practice?
by Robin Jones, Director, Great Lakes ADA Center
www.adagreatlakes.org

I think that you have to go back to the analysis of what is being asked: Use of a calculator
What is the question:  Does the use of a calculator create a fundamental alteration in the program or service.  
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To Disclose or Not to Disclose?

To Disclose or Not to Disclose?
by Karen McCulloh and Beth Marks


411 on Disability Disclosure
Do you homework before deciding to disclose. The decision of whether to disclose is entirely up to you.

If you need an accommodation you must disclose. This is true for both higher education and employment. So the choice to disclose or not is contingent upon the need for accommodations. 
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Technical Standards Versus Essential Functions: Developing Disability-Friendly Policies for Nursing Programs

Technical Standards Versus Essential Functions: Developing Disability-Friendly Policies for Nursing Programs
by Martha Smith

What do technical standards mean for nursing?

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, schools can, in fact, have technical standards. Technical Standards are all the non-academic requirements a students must have/meet to enter a program. For most health sciences programs, there are usually a list of skills or experiences students must have prior to entry. Technical Standards cannot be written to exclude a class of people, including students with disabilities, and must have the "tag-line” “able to meet these requirements with or without a reasonable accommodation.” Most schools have difficulty writing good technical standards. They often use physical attributes as a skill, e.g, “must be able to talk to patients directly” versus “must be able to communicate effectively”. Also, technical standards should be written as the "what" of a skill, not the "how", e.g., “must be able to gather vitals using variety of means” versus “must be able to hear a heart murmur through a stethoscope” (actually specifying how the task will be accomplished). Many technical standards are written based on skills that students will actually learn how to do in the program (e.g., “must be able to hear/detect a heart murmur through a stethoscope”). Because students will learn this skill in school, it is not a requirement for entering the program.
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