REG 04.20.06 – Personal Care Attendants for Students with Disabilities

Authority: Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

History: First IssuedSeptember 14, 2004. Last Revised: September 10, 2019.

Related Policies:
NCSU POL04.25.05 – Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy Statement

NCSU REG02.20.01 – Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
NCSU REG05.00.02 – Reasonable Accommodations in Employment
NCSU REG11.40.01 – Grievance Procedure for Undergraduate Students
NCSU REG11.30.01 – Housing Disciplinary Procedures 

Contact Info: Disability Resource Office (919-513-3768)

1. Introduction

1.1 In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Rehab Act”), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), and state law, North Carolina State University (hereinafter NC State) may be required to accommodate an otherwise qualified individual with a disability by making a reasonable modification in its services, programs, or activities. NC State recognizes that the use of Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) may be an integral part of some students’ abilities to participate in the university experience. This regulation addresses the use of PCAs by qualified students with disabilities.

2. Definitions

2.1 Personal Care Attendant: (PCA) means a person who performs personal care duties/services for a student with a disability. The kind of activities that the PCA performs is comparable to those that family members would perform for the person with a disability and will vary from person to person. These activities with respect to the student may include, but are not limited to:

2.1.1 providing help with activities of daily living, such as, walking, bathing, dressing, toileting, grooming, preparing meals and feeding

2.1.2 monitoring any medical condition by observing vital signs

2.1.3 reminding to take prescribed medications

2.1.4 transporting and/or escorting

2.1.5 assisting with maintenance of the housing environment, including light cleaning, laundry, and keeping the environment safe

2.1.6 turning pages, retrieving books, assisting with homework

2.1.7 taking off and putting on coats

2.1.8 opening doors

2.1.9 alerting to distracting repetitive movements

2.1.10 alerting to dangerous environments/situations

2.2 Disability means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of an individual.

3. University Services

3.1 NC State does not provide PCA services and is not responsible or liable for any consequences resulting from a student’s association with a PCA. Through the Disability Services Office (DSO), the university does assist students needing personal care attendant services by:

3.1.1 generating ideas for advertising resources on campus and in the community

3.1.2 providing possible resources on interviewing techniques

3.1.3 providing a location for the students to meet with prospective PCAs for interviews

3.1.4 including in an accommodation letter to faculty that a student will be accompanied by a PCA in the classroom and for all classroom related activities

3.1.5 answering any questions from University Housing regarding a student’s needs for a PCA in the residence halls

4. Student Responsibilities

4.1 A student needing a PCA is encouraged to seek appropriate personal care independently. For classroom and general campus assistance, some students will find it beneficial to recruit and hire other students. For more involved personal care needs, students can make arrangements through agencies or private contacts. Furthermore, the student is responsible for:

4.1.1 notifying DSO about his/her need to have a PCA in the classroom

4.1.2 notifying University Housing about his/her need to have a PCA living in university housing

4.1.3 creating his/her own flyer and/or ad to advertise for the PCA, if needed

4.1.4 creating his/her own need-specific PCA application

4.1.5 reviewing all applications for the PCA position

4.1.6 scheduling all interviews with prospective PCAs

4.1.7 hiring, managing, paying, and firing, if necessary, the PCA

5. Personal Care Attendant Responsibilities

5.1 All PCAs are expected to follow all applicable university policies, regulations, rules, and procedures. If a PCA fails to abide by such policies, regulations, rules, and procedures and/or causes a fundamental alteration in services, programs, or activities, then the Disability Services Office may make a determination that the PCA will not be allowed to accompany the student with a disability in the classroom and/or other sites. If a PCA who resides in university housing fails to abide by the policies, regulations, rules, and procedures relating to university housing, the University Housing Office may make a determination that the PCA will not be allowed to live with the student in university housing. It is the student’s responsibility to secure the services of another PCA in the event a PCA becomes unable to perform services for a student.

6. Appeal Procedure

6.1 In the event of a dispute about an accommodation relating to the use of a PCA, the complaining student should follow the Grievance Procedure for Students.