Office of Disability Services

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Personal Care Attendant Policies and Procedures

Muhlenberg College is committed to ensuring that all qualified students with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids, and services to ensure access and nondiscrimination to programs, services, and activities. Muhlenberg College makes every reasonable effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA Amendments Act 2008) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Muhlenberg College does permit students with disabilities who have a documented need for assistance with activities of daily living and/or nursing care within a residential setting, to retain the services of a Personal Care Attendant (PCA). A Personal Care Attendant (PCA) is defined as 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 the College Health Services or assistance with normal life functions. Personal Care Attendant (PCA) services may facilitate higher levels of independent access and participation in College's programs, services, and activities. Muhlenberg College does not provide, assume coordination, or financial responsibilities for personal attendant services.

The services of a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) can have an important role in an individual’s quality of life. The well thought out selection of the right Agency/individual and ongoing effective communication with the PCA is critical for a successful experience. Students who require personal attendant services must make arrangements to provide for his/her own Personal Care Attendant and must follow the policies, procedures and guidelines as listed below.

Recommendations When Hiring Personal Care Attendants

It is the student’s sole responsibility to make the appropriate arrangements to contract services with a licensed agency to provide the services of a Personal Care Attendant or a licensed, private PCA to provide these services.

Any residential student who wishes to request these accommodations must:

checkmarkDevelop a clear job description and list of responsibilities for assistance with daily living activities
checkmarkIt is recommended that the student hire a licensed medical/nursing agency that will provide the services of an impartial PCA who is not a family member or close friend.
checkmark Request evidence of agency certifications and insurance bonding (Muhlenberg College will request)
checkmark Request evidence of PCA background check clearances (Muhlenberg College will request)
checkmark Request evidence of PCA medical/immunization clearances (Muhlenberg College will request)

If student is using a non-agency, privately employed Personal Care Attendant:
checkmarkRequest evidence of PCA certifications and insurance bonding (Muhlenberg College will request)

checkmarkRequest evidence of PCA background check clearances (Muhlenberg College will request)
checkmark Request evidence of PCA medical/immunization clearances (Muhlenberg College will request)

Same gender PCAs are encouraged but not required when engaged for live-in assistance.

Any non-residential student who requires the use of a Personal Care Attendant while on campus must comply with all the non-residential components of the process listed.

Student’s Responsibility

checkmarkComplete the Special Housing Request Form and submit appropriate documentation to the Office of Disability Services that supports the medical necessity of a Personal Care Attendant.

checkmarkSecure an agency-affiliated, or private, certified PCA prior to attending any college-related activity (i.e. placement testing, enrollment, class attendance). (Muhlenberg College will not be responsible for providing a PCA on an interim basis.)
checkmark Provide documentation that the PCA is qualified to perform the services.
checkmark Ensure that the agency representative and each individual PCA, or private, certified PCA registers with the Office of Disability Services, Campus Safety, and Health Services (central effort coordinated by Muhlenberg College). Student will provide a copy of the contract between the student and the agency/PCA.
checkmark Ensure that PCA personnel changes are registered with the Office of Disability Services, Campus Safety, and Health Services, as required.
checkmark Direct the activities of the PCA while at Muhlenberg College. The student is solely responsible for ensuring the PCA is fulfilling his/her responsibilities for the student’s care whether daily or periodically. Muhlenberg College will not assume responsibility for the PCA or his/her failure to fulfill the contracted responsibilities.
checkmark Develop an alternative plan of action should the regularly assigned PCA not be available to work
checkmark Follow all Muhlenberg College policies and abide by the Student Handbook.
checkmark Pay for all PCA services, including but not limited to housing and meal plans if living on campus.
checkmark Same gender PCAs are encouraged but not required when assisting students with bathing or toileting in a residence hall or in shared or public area restrooms.

PCA Responsibilities

checkmarkFollow all applicable Muhlenberg College policies, rules, regulations, and procedures. A PCA found in violation of College policies will be removed from campus immediately regardless of the contractual arrangement the PCA has with the student.
checkmark Assist the student before and after class but wait outside the classroom (unless deemed appropriate by documentation and approved by the Office of Disability Services).
checkmark Allow the student to take responsibility for his/her own progress or behavior.
checkmark Refrain from contact with or asking questions of faculty, staff, or others on behalf of the student
checkmark Refrain from intervening in conversations between the student and faculty, staff or other students
checkmark Refrain from discussing any confidential information about the student with faculty, staff, or students.
checkmark The PCA should not be involved with the student’s work related to any class assignments or tests.
checkmark PCAs will only be able to access the student’s residence hall while classes are in session or if the student has properly secured permission to be on campus during break sessions.
checkmark PCAs will not be given campus parking privileges.
checkmark PCAs should check in at Campus Safety 15 minutes prior to the start of the shift. The PCA should present a picture ID and sign in. The PCA’s ID should be worn and visible while on campus. Campus Safety will also provide the PCA with a campus visitor pass. At the end of the shift, the PCA will sign out and return the pass to Campus Safety.  

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Non-Compliance to Policy

Incidents of non-compliance in adhering to the policies set forth by Muhlenberg College either by the student or his/her PCA will be subject to review as follows:

checkmarkInformal Review– As appropriate, the Directors of Residential Services, Office of Disability Services, Student Health Services, Campus Safety and/or other appropriate Departments will meet with the student to discuss the issue of non-compliance and work with the student to determine possible solutions. A written report of the resolution will be given to the student within two working days of completion of the informal investigation.

checkmark Formal Review– As appropriate, the Directors of Residential Services, Office of Disability Services, Student Health Services, Campus Safety and/or other appropriate Departments will convene a formal review of the concern. The formal review may also include other college representatives such as the Dean of Students, or the Dean of the College for Academic Life. Sanctions may be determined if the student is found responsible for the matter under review. These could include, for example, the PCA no longer being permitted on College property, a probationary period to correct the matter under review, or the removal of the student from College housing. A written report of the resolution will be given to the student within two working days of completion of the formal investigation.

checkmark Appeals– A student may appeal a decision made from the Formal Review by following the guidelines under violations of the Social Code.