Personal Care Attendants

Beloit College Student Personal Care Assistant Policy

The Beloit College Student Personal Care Assistant Policy is designed to help students who use personal care assistance services engage fully in a Beloit College education as the College complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The Learning Enrichment and Disability Services Office (LEADS) at Beloit College works with students with disabilities who use Personal Care Assistants (PCAs). PCAs work directly with people with disabilities who are in need of assistance with activities of daily living. Students who require a PCA must make arrangements to provide his/her own personal care services. The College does not assume coordination of or financial responsibility for such personal services. However, the College strongly believes that in order for a student who needs a PCA to have a college experience that is closest to the Mission of the College, it is in the student’s best interest to not have a family member, a friend, or another student for a PCA.

Note: “Director” (unspecified) in this document heretofore refers to the Director of LEADS. As other Directors are referred to, they will have the office included in the text. “The student” is the student with a disability, unless otherwise indicated.

It is the student’s responsibility to:

  • Contact the Director prior to attending the College to discuss appropriate accommodations, including the role of the PCA on campus. A meeting should occur with the Director during each semester that the student is enrolled. If third party documentation is requested by the Director, provide the information. (See Documentation Guidelines for details.)
  • If living on campus and need the PCA to access the residence hall, indicate the need for a PCA on the residence hall application form and submit this form as soon as possible. If the housing application is late, effort will be made to make the accommodation, but it may not be possible given limited appropriate residence hall spaces. All residential life policies apply.
  • Secure a PCA and Relief PCA(s) prior to attending College. Have a plan for when the usual PCA(s) is not available. (Relief PCAs who are not current students are subject to the same expectations as usual PCAs, including background checks.)
  • Make sure that PCA(s) meet with the Director and sign an Agreement/Expectations form for Personal Care Assistants prior to providing service on campus.
  • If living on campus, share the student’s double room with the PCA, if the PCA is required to remain overnight. And, if the PCA is of the opposite sex of the student with a disability, they must live on a co-ed or gender neutral floor. If the live-in PCA is not a current Beloit College student, only the student will pay a room charge (the PCA, in essence, lives on campus in the same room for no charge). If the PCA is a student, each student will also pay a room charge.
  • Make sure that the PCA responsibly uses any access to college facilities, equipment, resources, and network activities.
  • Arrange for someone to provide transportation from one class to another, if necessary. (It could be the PCA.) If exceptions to current policies and procedures are needed for transportation and/or parking, these exceptions must be discussed and approved in advance with the Director as well as the appropriate persons of Facilities and Security staff.
  • Pay all expenditures of the PCA if the student chooses to participate in an off-campus study program.
  • Directly negotiate with the appropriate department or office, in advance, regarding the admittance of the PCA to College activities or events which require additional expense (e.g. theater performance).
  • Follow the College’s policies and procedures, and abide by the student handbook.

The College’s responsibilities - usually via the Director - are to:

  • Request, review and evaluate 3rd party documentation in a timely manner and be available for individual consultation as necessary. The Director will also determine which, if any, accommodations are warranted based on the conversation with the student and the documentation.
  • Coordinate appropriate academic/classroom accommodations such as note-taking, in-class scribing, or audio text and also refer the student to services available to all students, such as tutoring, as appropriate.
  • Confer with the student, the PCA, and the relevant faculty and staff to determine the specific role of the PCA in the classroom(s) and on campus.
  • Act as an intermediary between the student and the relevant offices (Facilities, residential life, library, etc.) when appropriate and necessary. However, this does not absolve the student from advocating and/or negotiating for himself or herself when appropriate.
  • Issue non-student PCAs special IDs once the PCA has passed the background check, signed the Agreement/Expectations form, and presents him or herself to the Residential Life Office for a photo ID.

The PCA role is to:

  • Undergo a background check via the Human Resources Office at Beloit College at the expense of the student or the PCA if the PCA needs to remain on campus overnight and is not a current Beloit College student.
  • Assist in the physical mechanics of accomplishing homework (e.g. type a paper or write out a proof), but not provide intellectual content or tutoring. The student who accepts the intellectual assistance of a PCA may be considered in violation of the Academic Honesty Policy.
  • Allow the student to take responsibility for his/her own behaviors and choices. The PCA is not to take initiative in negotiations or to advocate on behalf of the student with the disability. PCAs are to refrain from interceding or intervening on behalf of any student unless someone is in immediate danger or the PCA is acting on his/her own as a good citizen.
  • Refrain from participating in or disrupting classes. Unless documentation supports the need for the PCA to be in the classroom with the student, the PCA should remain outside of the classroom. PCAs may help the student before and after class with personal tasks (e.g. plug in laptop, turn on tape recorder). The specific determinations in this area are made on a class-by-class basis in consultation with the Director and, when appropriate, with the faculty member.
  • Carry the special Beloit College ID with him/her at all times that s/he is on campus. Events which are open to all students will be available to the PCA when accompanying the student. Non-student PCAs must not use their ID for personal access to college facilities, attendance at college community only events, personal use of college resources (including network activities) or to check out college equipment. Access to college residence halls and services will be determined by the Director and the Director of Residence Life.
  • Arrive and depart campus as agreed upon for assisting the student, unless attending an event which is open to the public.
  • Refrain from eating food while in Commons, unless the food has been purchased for the PCA (by the student or PCA).
  • Obtain a parking permit & follow all parking regulations unless explicit, advance exceptions are made by the security office in consultation with the Director.
  • Follow all College rules, regulations, policies and procedures and abide by the expectations listed above and are agreed upon in consultation with the Director.

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