Technical Standards and Access to Accommodations Committee (TSAAC)

The Technical Standards Accommodation Advisory Committee develops policies and recommendations concerning disability accommodations for medical students. TSAAC performs its duties consistent with the UW SMPH mission and direction provided by the University of Wisconsin McBurney Disability Resource Center.

The committee is appointed and charged with reviewing and maintaining best practices related to medical school technical standards and implementing accommodations in medical school settings. TSAAC responsibilities include, but are not limited to, oversight of language used to describe and communicate technical standards for UW SMPH, and advising for appropriate implementation of approved accommodations at UW SMPH clinical and testing sites.

Membership

Per its charter, TSAAC is a standing committee consisting of:

  • (1) member of UW SMPH serving as Director of Technical Standards and Director of TSAAC
  • (1) member serving as UW SMPH Associate Dean for Students or his/her designee in Student Services
  • (1) member serving as Director of the McBurney Disability Resource Center or his/her designee
  • (1) appointed member serving as Director of Assessment and Analytics or his/her designee
  • (6-8) total members, representing a combination of elected and appointed members in diverse clinical disciplines, with at least one representing a surgical field.

Each appointed member shall serve a minimum of a two-year term starting in May of the academic year. Appointed members would comprise staff or faculty who are familiar with the clinical curriculum and how that curriculum is delivered in an inter-professional setting.

Meetings

Meetings will be held three times per year as follows:

  • Third Wednesday in May to review policy and procedure and technical standards language as noted in section on “Role of TSAAC in Technical Standards”
  • Third Wednesday in July to review new accommodations requests
  • First Wednesday in December to review new accommodations requests

When members cannot attend in person, members may attend via conference call or send a designated alternate. Appointed faculty are voting members, while McBurney Center representatives and the Technical Standards Director serve as ex-officio members. The Director of Assessment and Analytics and the Associate Dean for Students will recuse themselves from voting if and when a conflict of interest arises. Decisions are made by voting, with a vote greater than 50% of voting members in attendance constituting the final decision of the committee. Attendance and minutes will be recorded and maintained by the Director of Technical Standards. In addition to meeting times, members may spend an additional 1-2 hours prior to a meeting to review technical standards language and/or implementing approved accommodations in their clinical or testing area.

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Role of McBurney Center in UW SMPH Technical Standards

  • Review the language used in communicating UW SMPH technical standards to potential and matriculated medical students.
  • Advise TSAAC on improvements or changes to UW SMPH technical standards language in areas including, but not limited to, UW SMPH M.D. degree Student Handbook, website, and syllabi.
  • Advise TSAAC of technology updates that may affect technical standards language.
  • Advise TSAAC of legal cases/court or Office of Civil Rights (OCR) decisions that may affect technical standards language

Role of McBurney Center in UW SMPH Access to Accommodations

  • Conduct initial intake interview with medical students seeking accommodations.
  • Review documentation provided by medical students and determine eligibility for accommodations.
  • Provide eligible medical students and TSAAC with a McBurney Center Faculty Notification Letter that details the accommodations to be implemented.
  • Provide TSAAC with specialized information, advice, and/or resources that may be required for implementation such as text-to-speech technology.
  • Maintain an interactive process with eligible medical students, particularly as that process pertains to specialized resources.
  • Advise TSAAC of technology updates that may affect implementation of accommodations.
  • Advise TSAAC of legal cases/court or OCR decisions that may affect implementation of accommodations.

Role of TSAAC in Technical Standards

  • Annually review UW SMPH technical standards language in areas including, but not limited to, the UW SMPH M.D. Student Handbook, website, and syllabi.
  • Consult with McBurney Center for advised improvements or changes to UW SMPH technical standards language.

Role of TSAAC in Access to Accommodations

  • Provide adequate representation from core clinical areas as outlined in the charter.
  • Based on the McBurney Center Faculty Notification Letter, determine how accommodations will be implemented in the clinical or lab environment, and in testing situations including but not limited to the Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE), Year End Professional Skills Exam (YEPSA), and other testing environments.
  • Discuss unique features of clinical or lab environments that affect implementation of accommodations.
  • Review and consider advisement provided by McBurney Center in regards to technology changes and legal cases affecting implementation of accommodations, curriculum delivery, and testing.
  • Attend meetings as outlined in the charter.

Role of Technical Standards Director

  • Advise UW SMPH students regarding the accommodations process, including their rights as a student receiving accommodations.
  • Communicate with TSAAC and/or clinical sites in advance if/when accommodations may be more complex to implement.
  • Communicate testing accommodations to UW SMPH testing department.
  • Work with UW SMPH testing regarding implementation of accommodations.
  • Work with Clerkship Coordinators regarding implementation of accommodations.
  • Provide implementation letters to “need-to-know” staff or faculty which may include Clerkship Coordinators, Clerkship Directors, Integrated Block Leaders, and testing services.
  • Maintain a timely and responsive interactive process with UW SMPH students receiving accommodations.
  • Advise UW SMPH students regarding the accommodations request process for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 exams.
  • Communicate on a timely basis and work with McBurney Center on all aspects of technical standards and access to accommodations.

Roster

  • Christopher Crnich, MD, Department of Medicine, 2021
  • Dawn Elfenbein, MD, Department of Surgery, 2021
  • Mari Magler, JD, Director of McBurney Center
  • Gwen McIntosh, MD, MPH, Associate Dean for Students/Pediatrics
  • Davie Paolone, MD, Department of Urology, 2022
  • Gail Roberson, PhD, Department of Neuroscience, 2021
  • Sarina Schrager, MD, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, 2022
  • Christine Sharkey, MD, Department of Surgery, 2021
  • Raquel Tatar, PhD, MSPH, MA, SMPH Testing Services
  • Sarah Traynor, PhD, Department of Anatomy, Nov. 2020
  • Bonnie Weigert, MD, Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, 2021
  • Krista Zimonick, MA, SMPH Technical Standards Director