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 coordination of 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.
Here are a few recommendations:
- Network with students who use PCA services. In this way, you can check out agencies that provide PCA services.
- Check eligibility for Rehabilitation Services in the student's home state. Consult with the appropriate office to see if the student is 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. A recommended approach is to prepare interview questions and request references to determine an appropriate fit for the student.
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 PCA to register with the University in order to be eligible to access on-campus facilities. 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 in a timely fashion. Please direct your inquiries to the Associate Director of the Academic Resource Center.