Personal Care Attendant Guidelines

Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) 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 as amended. 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 they 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. Otherwise qualified students who require personal attendant services must make arrangements to provide for their own personal attendant service. The College does not assume coordination or financial responsibilities for personal attendant services. At the student’s request, Accessibility Services will endeavor to provide a list of agencies that provide attendant care services on a regular basis.

It is the student's responsibility to

  • Submit appropriate documentation to Accessibility 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.
  • Ensure that each PCA registers with the Accessibility Services and signs the Personal Care Attendant Agreement form each term.
  • Ensure that if personnel changes occur during the term, they and the new PCA register with Accessibility Services and sign a new PCA Agreement Form.
  • Direct the activities of the PCA while at Central New Mexico Community College.
  • Have a back-up plan or alternative plan of action should the regular PCA not be available to work with them on a particular day or in a particular class.
  • Follow the College's policies and abide by the Student Code of Conduct.
  • Pay for all PCA services or secure payment through a third party.
  • Notify Accessibility Services of any changes in PCA.

If the student requests the PCA to take notes, the college cannot pay the PCA as a note-taker. Note-taker services may be obtained through Accessibility Services.

Personal Care Attendant is expected to

  • Follow all applicable college policies, rules, regulations, and procedures.
  • Registration is required with Accessibility Services. A letter must be provided from the attendant’s employing agency specifying the individual’s direct supervisor and contact information The attendants will be required to wear a Guest CNM ID, which will be provided by CNM in order to facilitate identification as an attendant by instructors and other CNM staff.
  • Allow students to take responsibility for their 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.
  • Stay outside of the classroom and wait for the student unless given permission by Accessibility Services or an instructor to do otherwise.
    • PCAs are not allowed to proctor tests.

The college is expected to

  • Provide academic or program access accommodations for a student with physical/medical impairments.
  • Will provide reasonable accommodations to address the student’s disability within the classroom and service areas of the college. Accommodations are determined through Accessibility Services. 
  • Provide appropriate accommodations, for example, a note-taker for class or lab setting, a scribe to record responses or complete forms, provision of adaptive equipment within the classroom or lab setting that will allow the student equal access to the college and its programs.

It is not the responsibility of the college to provide services to meet the personal needs (actions needed regardless of whether the person is a student or not) of the student. Examples of those services may include, but are not limited to, transfer from a car/van to a wheelchair; transportation to or from the classroom, administrating medication; addressing toilet, feeding, or dressing needs.

If the student or a PCA fails to abide by the above procedures, Accessibility Services may make a determination that PCA will not be allowed to accompany the student on campus. There may also be a disciplinary action taken against the student through the Dean of Students for inappropriate behavior as defined in the Student Code of Conduct.