In some cases, the Office of Accessibility (OA) may provide the accommodation of an in-class assistant to a student. Though rationale for such a need is individual in nature, this accommodation is typically provided if a student would be physically unable to manipulate objects or perform physical tasks given the discipline of a class. Examples may include a chemistry lab, ceramics or horticulture class.
Differing from a personal assistant, the in-class assistant will not lift, move, transfer, assist with personal care needs, or transport the individual. Possible tasks performed by a PCA may include, but are not limited to the following:
The in-class assistant will meet with the Accessibility Coordinator, to discuss the individual tasks related to the student, with the student meeting the assistant at a subsequent time. Assistants are trained not to answer questions on behalf of the student, correct their answers or responding comments in class, nor otherwise provide duties that would exceed the scope and intent of having this service as an accommodation. The in-class assistant, performing their duties as such, does not provide the student an advantage. An in-class assistant will not proctor exams.
Personal Care Attendant
Personal Care Attendant (PCA) – (sometimes referred to as a Personal Assistant) is a person who has been hired to support a student with a disability to live a more independent life by performing personal care duties or services. A PCA works directly for and is employed by the student with a disability. The kind of tasks a PCA performs is comparable to those that a family member or medical personnel would perform and will vary from person to person. Personal assistants, covering duties exclusive of those mentioned by an in-class assistant, are under the discretion of the student, who bears the responsibility of procuring this individual(s) including all associated costs. Possible tasks performed by a PCA may include, but are not limited to the following: