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Clinical Accommodations

The AccessAbility Center/Student Disability Services (AAC/SDS)
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Clinical Accommodations

Procedure for Obtaining Clinical Accommodations

In order to begin this process, please schedule an appointment with the CUNY School of Medicine's Access Specialist to discuss the requested accommodations. Processes for acquiring clinical accommodations vary based on impact of the disability. All clinical accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis and in concert with the student, the AccessAbility Center, clerkship supervisor, and/or lab faculty. Accommodations provide equal access and full participation while ensuring technical standards are met for medical and health sciences degrees.   

CUNY School of Medicine Students Will Be Responsible For:

• Identifying, in collaboration with The AccessAbility Center, clinical accommodations designed to remove barriers in the clinical setting. These will be general recommendations, which may not be applicable for all clinical settings and must be reviewed in relation to the essential components of each rotation. The accommodations will be described in a letter that students will be responsible for providing to relevant parties.

• Emailing the accommodation memo to the Course Coordinator and Physician Course Director/Instructor for each rotation in which the student wishes to request accommodations. This should be done two weeks before the start of the rotation/course. The letter should also be given to and reviewed with the Physician Site Preceptor at the start of the rotation to confirm how the accommodations will be provided during the rotation.

• Notifying and requesting immediate assistance from The AccessAbility Center and/or the Medical School Coordinator if the site director has questions about the accommodation letter, there are obstacles to providing accommodations at the clinical site, or the accommodations are determined to be unreasonable due to the expectations of the site.

• Contacting the Access Specialist if a change in the student’s disability status occurs or accommodation requires alteration. If there are accommodation alterations, the Access Specialist will create a new accommodation memo to be sent to the student.

Types of Clinical Accommodations

Altered schedule for a clinical clerkship

An altered schedule for a clinical clerkship may be appropriate for students who have disability-related appointments or time constraints. An altered schedule may include the student having shift preference for certain times of day (e.g., early morning or late night). This accommodation may be appropriate for students with psychological or neurological disabilities.

Preferential location of clerkship

Preferential location of clerkship may be appropriate for students who have disability-related constraints due to previous or current treatments, logistical travel constraints, or for students who have disability-related appointments in a specific location. This accommodation may be appropriate for students with psychological, neurological, or physical disabilities.

Preferential order of clerkship rotation

Preferential location of clerkship may be appropriate for students who have disability-related time or schedule constraints due to treatment regimens. This accommodation may be appropriate for students with psychological, neurological, or physical disabilities.

Modified attendance

Modified attendance requirements may be appropriate for students with scheduling or time constraints due to a psychological, medical, or physical disability. Examples of potential modified attendance accommodations are below:

            Leave from overnight shifts

            Release from clinic to attend necessary appointments related to disability

Use of assistive technology in clinic

Use of assistive technology in clinic/lab settings may be appropriate for students with sensory or learning disabilities. Examples of available assistive technologies are listed below.

  • Speech-to-text software (e.g., CART)
  • Text enlargement
  • Alternate format of text
  • Screen readers
  • Amplification device/FM system

Sign language interpreting

Sign language interpreting may be appropriate for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Rest breaks to stand up and stretch

Permitted rest breaks to stand up and stretch or to leave clinic for brief periods may be appropriate for students with physical or medical disabilities.

Adaptive furniture

Adaptive furniture may be an appropriate accommodation for students with physical disabilities, whether they are permanent or temporary.