E1.6 Personal Care Attendant

Effective Date: August 30, 2019
Last Reviewed: August 30, 2019

Stonehill College is committed to ensuring that all students have equal access to the College’s residence halls, academic programs, and learning opportunities. This Policy shall at all times be interpreted consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended from time to time.

Students who require a personal care attendant (“PCA”) in order to participate in the College’s academic or residential programs must register with the College’s Office of Accessibility Resources and apply for an accommodation as soon as possible before beginning the academic or residential program.

Applicants must follow the accommodations process established by the Office of Accessibility Resources. Additionally, applicants must specify the scope of PCA services for which they are requesting an accommodation, such as the time frames the PCA would be on campus and the campus locations the PCA would be accessing.

In accordance with the law, accommodation requests are for permission to bring a PCA into the College’s academic or residential spaces. The actual services provided by a PCA are beyond the scope of the accommodations process. As such, if the accommodation is granted, the student is responsible for selecting, hiring, training, and paying the PCA.

The College will issue the PCA a College identification card, which the PCA must carry when on campus or when functioning as the student’s PCA at an off-campus event. If the PCA resides with the student in a residence hall, the PCA’s identification card will be programmed to provide access to the appropriate residence hall. The card (or any keys or other materials provided by the College) shall at all times remain the property of the College.

If the PCA resides with the student in a residence hall, the student is responsible for the room and (if any) board costs of the PCA. The PCA must agree to the terms of the College housing contract. Depending on the residence hall and the particular location of the student’s room, the PCA may be required to be of the same sex as the student in order to comply with College residency rules regarding single-sex halls, wings, or suites, as the case may be.

The student may request that the College provide the PCA with internet access, email, or a parking permit. Any costs associated with such services shall be the responsibility of the student.

Consistent with the College’s Community Standards, the student is responsible for any violations by the PCA of the College’s policies, rules, and procedures. For these purposes, the PCA is considered a “guest” of the student.

Any substitute PCA must adhere to the same rules as outlined in this policy; however, a substitute PCA may, at the College’s discretion, be provided temporary card access and temporary parking access without additional charge to the student.

If the student secures the PCA through an organization or agency that places or refers PCAs, the student must provide verification to the College that the outside organization has conducted a background check on the PCA consistent with M.G.L. Chapter 6, Section 167-178B or has otherwise complied with Massachusetts law regarding the requirements for agencies that place domestic workers. If the student secures the PCA independently, the student must provide verification to the College that the student has conducted a background check pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 6, Section 172C, which provides rights to a person with a disability to secure criminal history information on an individual who will provide services in the home of the person.

The College may, at its discretion, to the extent allowed under Massachusetts law, request criminal offender records from the Department of Criminal Justices Information Services, sex offender registry information from the Sex Offender Registry Board, or conduct a private background check on any potential PCA who will live in or have access to the College’s residence halls.

The College 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, proof of agency certifications, insurance, and medical immunizations.

The Office of Accessibility Resources shall publish guidelines that provide detailed information to students on the process for requesting the use of a PCA. Such guidelines shall be reviewed at least annually.