Addressing the Challenges of Providing Accommodations for Pharmacy Students With Disabilities Across Learning Environments

Am J Pharm Educ. 2021 Aug;85(7):8455. doi: 10.5688/ajpe8455. Epub 2021 May 11.


In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education Standards 2016, schools and colleges are required to provide reasonable disability-related accommodations for eligible students enrolled in a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program. Strategies for providing reasonable and effective accommodations in didactic classrooms have been well defined. In contrast, PharmD programs often grapple with supporting learners requiring disability-related accommodations during skills-based laboratory and experiential learning performance assessments. A process that supports individualized accommodation planning, spans the breadth of the curriculum, aligns with course-level goals and learning objectives, and supports achievement of the 2013 Center for the Advancement of Pharmacy Education Educational Outcomes at the PharmD program level is essential to a student's successful academic progression. This commentary discusses challenges that arise when developing accommodation plans in patient-care skills laboratories and offers methods for bridging skills-based accommodation needs to experiential settings, while managing accommodations in an ever-evolving practice landscape.

Keywords: accommodations; disability; experiential; laboratory; skills-based.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Education, Pharmacy*
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Students, Pharmacy*