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Field Experience & Residencies: Overview

Field experience accommodations

Students with Disabilities requesting accommodations to access Field Experiences such as Practicum and Internships should register with Student Wellness and Disability Services prior to registering for those program requirements and clarify their specific accommodation needs. 

In most cases, field experience sites have their own systems for ensuring equal access for employees/interns with disabilities. Walden’s Student Wellness and Disability Services will help address any gaps in those systems.

Face-to-face residency accommodations

Many Walden programs have required face-to-face components, where students physically attend 4 or 6 day sessions, usually in hotel/conference center or college campus environments.  For students with disabilities, who often have chosen an on-line university for the very purpose of avoiding the mobility and/or travel requirements of a land-based institution, the face-to-face component presents the only disability-related challenge requiring accommodation. 

Walden has a history of providing extensive accommodations at Walden Residencies to students registered with Student Wellness and Disability Services. 

Some of the accommodations provided have included:

  • Renting equipment, such as electric scooters for mobility or Hoyer lifts for transportation from wheelchair to bed or bath.
  • Absorbing the extra-person housing cost of personal care attendants. (Walden cannot pay for the travel costs of someone accompanying a student to provide personal care, but may pay for that person’s housing.)
  • Coordinating arrangements with nearby dialysis centers.
  • Hiring local service providers, such as sight guides, sign language interpreters, or captionists.

Residency accommodations policy

Students who have been approved to receive special services and/or equipment are instructed to send an email to at least four weeks prior to the course start date with a list of upcoming residencies.

Requests received with less than four weeks notice will be honored but will be addressed as time allows; and as a result of late notice, requested services and/or equipment may not be available by your arrival date. 

Students are responsible for reserving their own rooms at residencies and negotiating specific room types (accessible rooms) with the hotel staff.

Service animals at residencies

Students with disabilities, who have registered with Student Wellness and Disability Services and have confirmed the accommodation of bringing a certified service animal to residencies, should note:

  • According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is defined as "any animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals to an impending seizure or protecting individuals during one, and alerting individuals who are hearing impaired to intruders, or pulling a wheelchair and fetching dropped items".
  • Service animals may accompany a person with a disability in areas of public access.
  • The venues Walden University contracts with for residencies meet legal ADA compliance requirements.  However, each venue may have specific guidelines for guests with service animals.  Students will be required to meet those guidelines.  Students must communicate their expectations regarding a service animal when making housing arrangements for residencies.  In the unlikely event any difficulties or conflicts arise, Student Wellness and Disability Services may serve as advocate.