Finding a personal care attendant (PCA) for a student with special needs represents a significant decision for the family. The University is not responsible for the hiring and paying for PCA services; however, the Academic Resource Center offers the following information for parents and students to make an informed decision about appropriate services. Please note: If the PCA will require on-campus housing, then the student will be responsible for handling the relevant costs of living on campus.
First, network with students who use PCA services. In this way, you can check out agencies that provide PCA services. Also, if you are eligible for Rehabilitation Services in your state, consult with the appropriate office to see if you might be eligible for payment of services. Based upon experience, some parents prefer to work with an agency that provides PCA services, whereas some parents create a job description and advertise on a website such as simplyhired. Regardless of the approach, it is important for both the student and parents to participate in the interview process in selecting a PCA who best meets the needs of the student. Prepare interview questions and request references.
Although Georgetown University does not have any direct involvement in the hiring of a PCA, there are steps that need to be taken by the student and PCA to register with the University. PCAs are considered Sponsored University Associates (SUAs), individuals who are "lightly affiliated" with Georgetown University. They engage with Georgetown in non-academic roles, and do not function as employees of the university. Contractors, non-Georgetown collaborators, volunteers, and vendor reps, are examples of Sponsored University Associates.
To ensure that the appropriate paperwork is completed in a timely fashion, the student and PCA must be in contact with the Academic Resource Center to complete the appropriate paperwork. Please direct your inquiries to the Associate Director of the Academic Resource Center.