Internships, practicums, clinicals, apprenticeships and other work-based learning opportunities allow students to apply academic, technical and employment skills in real-world settings.
Institutions must be prepared to accommodate deaf students not only in the classroom, but also in clinical settings. They can promote accessibility for deaf medical students by reviewing their healthcare programs’ technical standards to ensure deaf students are not excluded because of their hearing loss.
The academic program and hosting employer/organization should work together with the student to provide accommodations, specifically:
If the field experience is considered part of the academic program, the institution is responsible for providing and paying for requested accommodations.
If the opportunity is offered by an organization or employer, the organization or employer may be responsible. If the intern is considered an employee, the intern is eligible for the same protections afforded other employees under the ADA.
Effective Accommodations for Internships and Fieldwork
Effective accommodations will depend on the deaf student’s communication preferences and experience with accommodations.
When planning for access, start by asking the deaf student about their needs. Discuss the training environment, job functions, types of interactions, activities, benefits and services offered to other people at the hosting entity.
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) offers additional resources, guidance and personalized consultations for workplace settings.