Office of Disability Services

Personal Assistance Options

Important Dates

April 3, 2023: PA Needs Assessment Due

June 15, 2023: Housing Accommodation Requests Due

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Personal Assistance in Residence Halls

Most students who use the PA Station require assistance beyond the hours and services provided by the PA Station. Students who need assistance with activities beyond the PA Station's scope, such as individual morning and night routines, have several options available to them, including home healthcare agencies, independent providers, direct hires, and ODS Personal Assistants. The best option for each student will depend on their individual needs, level of independence, and funding source/method of pay. Each option is described below.

Home Healthcare Agencies

Personal Assistants employed by home healthcare agencies are usually funded by Medicaid waivers but can accept other forms of payment depending on the agency. Wright State is not a Medicaid waiver provider and cannot accept this funding source. Agencies are equipped with the most hiring, training, and staffing resources. Due to Medicaid regulations, agency providers receive the most training for medical and healthcare-related needs. If students require extensive care related to medical conditions, overnight assistance, or 1:1 assistance throughout the day, they usually go through an agency to meet their needs.

Independent Providers

Some students hire individuals who are independent providers under Medicaid and can bill for Medicaid waivers. Students and outside individuals can become independent providers. Independent providers work directly for the student without the involvement of ODS. A student who becomes an independent provider for another student cannot also work as an ODS PA for the same student.

Private Hires

Some students pay for personal assistants out of pocket or get reimbursed by a funding agency. In that case, ODS might assist the student in finding personal assistants to work for them, but employment and pay are then handled by the student with no involvement in the office. Supervision is handled between students and PA. However, if there are any significant issues, the student can request some assistance from the Personal Assistance Coordinator with communication. A PA cannot work for the same student as an employee of ODS and as a PA paid directly by the student. 

ODS Student Employees

ODS PAs are an option for students who wish to become independent in managing their own PA services and can commit to working with ODS staff to develop skills and growth in this area. Students using ODS PAs require mild to moderate assistance for no more than a few hours a day. This option is usually used by students who do not have Medicaid waivers or come from out of state. ODS bills students for the PA services, and students are either self-pay or reimbursed by funding agencies. In some cases, ODS may be able to bill a funding agency directly, but ODS is not certified as a Medicaid provider and cannot bill for Medicaid waivers.

 Connect with your local Center for Independent Living to explore potential funding sources that a specific to your state or local area.

Personal Assistance Program


The Office of Disability Services (ODS) Personal Assistance (PA) Program provides a convenient option for students with physical disabilities who require assistance with activities of daily living, such as personal hygiene, toileting needs, dining, and laundry, and are interested in learning to manage these services independently.

The ODS PA program functions as an educational program with the goal of helping students learn the skills necessary to manage their care independently. For many students, the need for personal assistance will remain throughout their lives. Therefore, it is important for the student to learn to be an effective consumer in setting up and directing their personal assistance program that will impact their well-being and academic success, and subsequent vocational success after leaving the university.

A university is an ideal training ground for learning to set up an effective personal assistance system.  The university can assist the student with a disability in defining their personal assistance needs and providing the student with the opportunity to develop greater physical and emotional independence. Students receive assistance with only those activities that they cannot perform independently.

Students who may need this type of support should complete the Personal Assistance Needs Assessment and return it to Rikki Morris by April 3, 2023. 

Academic Requirement(s)

Students are required to take ED 1020 Managing Your Personal Care Assistance course during their first semester at Wright State. Upon completion of this course, they will be responsible for recruiting, interviewing, hiring, scheduling, training, managing, problem-solving, record-keeping, and overseeing billing statements for all their assistants. As part of ED 1020, students will develop individual materials and resources to facilitate their independence in these tasks. Another focus of the course is developing good working relationships with employees.

After completing the course, students will take responsibility for recruiting, interviewing, scheduling, and managing their PAs. ODS staff will be available to mentor and guide students as they continue to develop skills and take on these responsibilities for the first time. However, students are expected to demonstrate growth and increased independence as they continue their educational journey.

Hours and Types of Assistance

ODS PAs typically assist students with morning wake-up routines and bedtime routines for an average of 3-4 hours a day and around 20-25 hours per week. This will depend on the student’s needs, funding approval, and bursar estimate. PA services can be used for a maximum of 5 hours per day, or 35 hours per week, for each student. Any assistance needed beyond that is the student's responsibility to obtain from outside agencies, independent providers, or private hires. On average, each student is assigned 3-4 PAs, but this varies depending on student needs and PA availability, and sometimes more or less PAs will be needed to cover all scheduling needs. 

ODS PAs can assist with:

ODS PAs do NOT assist with:

  • Transferring (to and from wheelchair, bed, shower chair, toilet, etc.);
  • Toileting;
  • Dressing and undressing;
  • Showering;
  • Hair care;
  • Grooming;
  • Shaving;
  • Make-up;
  • Taking off and/or putting on braces and hand splints;
  • Body positioning;
  • Light housekeeping;
  • Laundry; and
  • Mealtime assistance (feeding, preparing meals, cutting food, etc).
  • Administering medications without direct supervision and instruction by the student;
  • Administering injections;
  • Diagnosis or treatment of any medical problem;
  • Care of pressure sores (decubitus ulcers) beyond changing simple, dry dressings;
  • Administering any procedure typically defined as medical in nature, including g-tubes/tube feedings and g-tube care, or intermittent catheterization;
  • Assistance with life support equipment
  • Grocery shopping/running errands for student;
  • Transporting student off-campus; or
  • Tutoring, academic accommodations, or in-class assistance.