DSP is committed to supporting students with disabilities in all aspects of their program including External Work Placements (EWPs).  An EWP is a required academic internship/externship experience attached to a specific course within a program.  Programs at USC may refer to the EWP in different language including, but not limited to: clerkships (law), fieldwork (MSW), practicum (Rossier), clinicals (Occupational Therapy) or rotations (Keck).

DSP guides all students wishing to use approved EWP Accommodations to generate Accommodation Letters for their EWP following the same process as class-related Accommodation Letters.  Once they request letters through MyDSP, the student’s DSP Specialist will verify the external work component of the course and provide a final approval within the system. This allows the student to finalize and download their letters.

The student should then provide the EWP accommodation letter to the designated person within your department of study right away. Note: please make every effort to have that designated contact person identified to students with their name and contact information readily accessible in a variety of resources, including any student handbooks, syllabi, and on your website.  We also recommend that students schedule a time to discuss their accommodations with the USC/departmental contact to ensure there is shared understanding of the implementation plan.  DSP is available to help navigate any accommodation-related questions.

We work with the students and departments to help ensure that accommodation implementation goes as smoothly as possible at the EWP site.  However, if you have any questions or concerns regarding accommodations, please contact DSP right away. The sooner we know, the sooner we can help resolve those concerns. Additionally, if at any point a student would like to request any additional accommodations, please have them contact their DSP Specialist directly.

Important note: DSP communicates that all students must meet the technical standards and essential requirements of the department and of the external work placement with or without reasonable accommodation. Accommodations should not alter the fundamental academic or professional standards of the course or program.

Department Responsibilities

  • When you receive an Accommodation Letter with EWP accommodations, please set-up a time to discuss the accommodations with the student. DSP can serve as a resource if needed and as requested.
  • Communicate with DSP regarding your Technical Standards and essential program and professional requirements. This allows DSP to review accommodation requests in an appropriately informed manner, that supports the program’s fundamental requirements.
  • Ensure that your technical standards and essential requirements are current, and are also easily accessible on your department/program website.
  • Have a grievance procedure in place in case of complaints about the site related to discriminatory practices. Office of Equity and Diversity should be included as a resource offered to all students.
  • Determine who will investigate complaints or concerns regarding specific sites/site supervisors, the process of investigation, who would be involved, and how outcomes will be communicated to students.
  • Inform your USC supervisor and DSP Specialist right away if you have concerns regarding your accommodation implementation.
  • Inform your DSP Specialist as soon as possible if you believe additional accommodations may be necessary.