The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy

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Into Physiotherapy: welcoming and supporting disabled students

Physiotherapy has for many years been recognised as an excellent career option for visually impaired people, and increasingly those with a range of visual and other disabilities have successfully completed qualifying programmes.

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This document promotes the creation of a positive learning experience for people with disabilities.

It provides guidance to educators on developing inclusive policies and procedures throughout the student journey - from application to preparation for employment - in line with statutory requirements and by building on existing good practice.

The information contained within this document is intended to be advisory. It does not consist of rules to which staff must rigidly adhere. Rather, it seeks to introduce general principles on which to base practice.

Its objective is to help staff to consider how best to encourage applications from disabled students, to adopt an anticipatory approach to educational provision, and to develop policies, practices and procedures to ensure that they are not disadvantaged during their subsequent educational experience.

The guidance does, however, refer to the statutory requirements by which all education providers must abide whilst providing a range of practical suggestions for consideration by physiotherapy staff.

Access to physiotherapy curricula

There is no intrinsic reason why physiotherapy curricula should be inaccessible to disabled students.

A welcoming attitude from staff, together with careful planning and a flexible and adaptable approach to curriculum delivery, ensures that disabled students will be able to participate in the educational experience alongside their non-disabled peers.

This is not to deny the considerable demands placed upon all students on qualifying physiotherapy programmes.

Rather, it is to suggest that additional stress associated with the necessity to overcome disabling barriers can be significantly reduced for those students whose disability requires them to adopt different ways of learning.

Recognising, in particular, the need for guidance for staff involved in providing practice education, the CSP published the document CSP Guidance: Supporting Disabled Students on Clinical Placements in 2004.

Legislative changes, together with requests for more detailed guidance from both academic and clinical staff, have prompted us to produce this document.

Download the full document (pdf, 226 pages, 1.36mb) below.

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