Policy on Personal Care Attendants
Policy Category: Executive
Effective Date: 07/26/2023
Responsible Officer: Assistant Provost for Student Success
History: New Policy
Responsible Office: Student Success Studio
This policy is intended to provide guidance on the use of Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) at Wentworth Institute of Technology (university).
This policy applies to all current and prospective students of the university.
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Massachusetts Equal Rights Act
Wentworth Institute of Technology is committed to ensuring that all members of the university community have equal access to the university’s residence halls, academic programs, and learning activities. As part of this commitment, the university will provide reasonable accommodations in accordance with the applicable laws.
Additionally, the university permits students with disabilities who have a documented need for assistance with activities of daily living and/or nursing care to retain the services of a Personal Care Attendant (PCA). PCAs may reside in university residence halls.
The university may require any additional information to assess safety, liability, or risk management concerns regarding the presence of the student’s PCA on campus, including, but not limited to, background checks, proof of agency certifications, insurance, and medical immunizations.
Personal Care Attendant: A person who provides personal care/assistance (chronic or temporary) to a student with a disability, or other health care needs with activities of daily living, including nursing services not administered through University Health Services or assistance with normal life functions. Students enrolled at Wentworth cannot serve as the PCA of another Wentworth student. PCAs must be at least 18 years of age.
Students who require a PCA must register with Student Accessibility Services. Students must specify the scope of PCA services, such as the time frames the PCA would be on campus and the campus locations the PCA would be accessing.
The student is responsible for selecting, hiring, training, and paying the PCA.
Students are responsible for the costs associated with PCA services, including but not limited to housing, meal plans, and parking for their chosen PCA.
Prior to their arrival on campus, the student must provide the PCA’s appropriate documentation as determined by the university. Such documentation may include but is not limited to background checks, proof of agency certifications, insurance, medical immunization, etc.
Develop an alternative plan of action if the assigned PCA is not available to work and provide a copy of this plan to Student Accessibility Services.
Live-in PCAs may be required to be of the same sex as the student subject to housing availability
Non-residential students who require the use of a PCA while on campus must comply with all the non-residential components of the process listed.
Meet with Campus Police to secure an identification card and parking access.
Follow all applicable policies and procedures.
Provide copies of certifications, insurance, and immunization records as needed.
Assist the student before and after class but wait outside the classroom during class unless deemed appropriate by Student Accessibility Services.
Refrain from assisting in the student’s work and assignments; asking questions and providing confidential information to faculty, staff, and students on behalf of the student.
Incidents of non-compliance in adhering to the requirements set forth by the university either by the student or their PCA will be handled on a case-by-case bases and will be addressed using the process described in the Policy on Accessibility and Accommodations
Additional Information & Related Documents:
Accessibility and Accommodation Policy
Interpretation & Revision
Any questions of interpretation regarding this policy shall be referred to the Assistant Provost for Student Success. They will be the final authority regarding the interpretation of this policy.
This policy shall be reviewed every three years; however, editorial, and non-substantive changes and updates can be made at any time.
The university will typically apply the policy in place at the time it receives a report concerning the respected policy.
Additionally, in instances where two or more policies are implicated, a case-by-case determination will be made to determine what policy will be used.
Review and Revision History
This policy was drafted by representatives from the Office of the Dean of Students, Student Accessibility Services, Office of Institutional Equity. It was reviewed by Cabinet and approved by the President on 07/26/2023.
This is a new policy.