The ability to self-advocate is critical to the success of students with disabilities in college. All requests for accommodations and services must come from the student (not a parent or case manager). The one exception to this requirement is when someone else has been formally named as the student’s legal guardian via a court order. In such instances, it is important our office is informed of the guardian’s status and have a copy of the court order on file.
Parkland College makes every reasonable effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities as addressed by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In keeping with this commitment, Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) may be necessary to address the personal needs of a student with a disability so that he/she can participate in the College’s activities, services, and programs. In order for the student who requires PCA services to have the same independent experience as all other college students, it is in the student’s best interest to hire an impartial PCA who is not a family member or close friend.An otherwise qualified student requesting services that may include assistance in toileting and being repositioned in chairs to having medication placed in the mouth from peers, staff, or faculty will be required to obtain a personal attendant. The College does not assume assume liability of risk involved, coordination, or financial responsibilities for personal attendant services.It is the student’s responsibility to:Submit appropriate documentation to the Office of Disability Services that supports the necessity of having a PCA.Secure a PCA prior to attending any college-related activity (i.e. placement testing, enrollment, or class attendance). The College will not be responsible for providing a PCA on an interim basis.Ensure that each PCA registers with the Office of Disability Services and signs the Personal Care Attendant Agreement form each semester.Ensure that if personnel changes occur during the semester, he/she and the new PCA register with the Office of Disability Services and sign a new PCA Agreement Form.Direct the activities of the PCA while at Parkland College.Have a back-up plan or alternative plan of action should the regular PCA not be available to work with him/her on a particular day or in a particular class.Follow the College’s policies and abide by the Student Conduct Code.Pay for all PCA services or secure payment through a third party (i.e. DHS-DRS, DSC, etc.).A Personal Care Attendant is expected to:Follow all applicable College policies, rules, regulations, and procedures.Allow the student to take responsibility for his/her own progress in class.Refrain from participating in class discussions.Refrain from engaging in or intervening in conversations between the student and faculty, staff, or other students.Refrain from discussing any confidential information about the student with faculty, staff, or students.If a student or a PCA fails to abide by the above policies and procedures, the Office of Disability Services may make a determination that the PCA will not be allowed to accompany the student on campus.Students who are vocational rehabilitation clients should check with vocational rehabilitation counselor for assistance with obtaining and paying for personal attendants.
The ADA defines a service animal as “any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.” These service animals assist the person with a disability in the activities of daily living.Responsibilities of the Handler/Partner:Students with disabilities who utilize a service animal on campus are strongly encouraged, to register with the Office of Disability Services in Room U260. The cost of care and responsibility for the well-being of a service animal are the sole responsibility of the owner at all times.Students accompanied by a service animal may be asked what tasks or functions the animal has been trained to perform and to give verbal assurance of the animal’s training. Service animals on campus must meet all mandated state and local regulations for the presence of animals in public places (vaccinations, I.D. tags, etc.), must be in good health, and must be under the full control of the partner with a disability at all times.Possible Restrictions:There are instances where a service animal may be restricted such as a clinical practicum in nursing and health services programs, in food service programs, or in laboratories that can pose a safety risk. These exceptions would need to be considered individually to determine whether the dog poses a possible danger, and if other reasonable accommodations can be provided.A service animal may be excluded from campus when that animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others. When a service animal is determined to be out of control as reported by students, staff, or administration, the infraction will be treated on an individual basis. Consequences may include but not be limited to muzzling a barking animal, refresher training for both the animal and the handler/partner, or exclusion from campus facilities.Conflicting Disabilities:It is common for persons to have a disability that precipitates an allergic reaction to animals. Persons with an asthmatic/allergy/medical complaint should direct that concern to the Disability Services Director. The person making the complaint must show medical documentation to support that complaint. Action will be taken to consider the needs of both persons and to resolve the problem as efficiently and expeditiously as possible.
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