Office of Disability Services

Physical Support for Students

photo of students in the tunnels

On this page:

Personal Assistance in Residence Halls

Important Dates

Target Date: April 15

  • PA Needs Assessment Due for Fall coverage
  • Housing Accommodation Requests

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.

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Personal Assistance Program


photo of students in a personal assistance roomThe 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:

  • 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
  • Mealtime assistance (feeding, preparing meals, cutting food, etc)

ODS PAs do NOT assist with:

  • 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
  • Tutoring, academic accommodations, or in-class assistance

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Personal Assistance Station

PA Station Summer Hours

Open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Weekdays

Closed Weekends & July 4

Closes for break July 26- August 24, 2024

Established in the 1970s, the Personal Assistance (PA) Station is a one-of-a-kind restroom facility located conveniently in the Student Union that provides daytime support to students with physical disabilities at no charge to the student. This vital service allows students with physical disabilities to attend college, develop independent living skills, and participate actively in academic life and campus culture. The station also provides assistance to faculty, staff, and official campus guests with physical disabilities, at no cost to the consumer. The station is open seven days a week during academic terms and provides assistance with:

  • Restroom use
  • Transferring in/out of mobility device
  • Body positioning
  • Assistance with coats/hats/gloves
  • Clothing/shoe/glasses adjustments
  • Assistance with adjusting bags, etc.
  • Daytime mobility device charging
  • Cleaning/wipe down of wheelchairs/scooters
  • Re-inflation of tires with air pump

The PA Station does not provide medical assistance of any kind nor assist with activities related to daily routines, such as showering, dressing, or brushing teeth. PA Station staff do not go to locations outside the station, such as dorm rooms or other campus restrooms.


The Personal Assistance Station (PA Station) is located at 072 Student Union.

Each of the three private restrooms is staffed by two personal assistants at all times and equipped with the following:

  • Ceiling-mounted SureHands sling lift
  • Various sized body slings
  • Bariatric changing table
  • Sink at ADA-approved height
  • Full-length mirrors
  • Basic personal hygiene items (paper towels, flushable wipes, feminine hygiene)


The PA Station is staffed by trained ODS student employees. All student personal assistants receive a criminal background check and attend a training workshop covering the following topics:

  • Understanding disabilities
  • Basic transfer techniques and lift operation
  • General hygiene techniques
  • Wheelchair basics
  • Universal precautions and blood-borne pathogens
  • Confidentiality and professionalism

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Obi Robot Program (Eating Assistance Device)

Making the Dining Experience Accessible to All

photo of a student with a staff member and obiWright State Office of Disability Services and Dining Services wants to enhance the dining experience for as many people as possible. For those that find eating independently an obstacle, they may utilize the Obi feeding assistant robot at no cost, to assist in the enjoyment of our culinary offerings thanks to a generous grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grants program.  

Students, faculty, and staff may utilize an Obi at both the Hangar and the Union Market during regular business hours. A sign like the one below will indicate if the Obi is available for use during your meal. For questions regarding usage, storage, or maintenance, please contact a Dining Services staff member.

In addition to the Obis in the Hangar and Union Market, the Office of Disability Services will have a demo unit available for students and their PAs to experience the device in the lobby of ODS in University Hall 180.

Prior to using Obi, the diner must read and sign the Obi User Agreement

OBI Use Tips

Below are some recommendations for making your use of the Obi more enjoyable:

  • An initial Obi User Agreement form will need to be completed by meeting with Katherine Myers in ODS.  This form is only required to be completed once.
  • A Photo I.D. is required to check out an Obi.
  • Use of an Obi is free and available on a first come, first serve basis during operating hours only. No reservations are accepted.
  • Please be patient! Dining Services staff may be working with another customer and may not always be immediately available to issue or accept an Obi.
  • Bring a friend or PA to assist you. The Obis will be setup with the assistance of a Dining Services Staff member, once the Obi is setup the staff member will not be able to stay during the meal.
  • The Obis are not designed to be dropped or abused. Careful handling of the units should be practiced at all times.
  • Keep track of time. Staff must wash, charge and store the Obis before they leave each day. Check with staff to know when you must return the Obi if it’s close to closing time.
  • Please do not leave the Obi unattended. 

If you have any questions or need more information, please email or call 937-775-5680. 


Obi is funded by a Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Grant.

The Reeve Foundation is committed to supporting organizations that seek to improve the quality of life for people living with paralysis. The award was one of 66 grants totaling $1,230,983 awarded by the Reeve Foundation to fund a variety of projects and programs to benefit the paralysis community, strengthening the Reeve Foundation’s dual mission of Today’s Care, Tomorrow’s Cure®. Funding for this new cycle of grants was made possible through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living (ACL).  

About the Reeve Foundation

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information, and advocacy. The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC) is the support side of the Reeve Foundation’s twin missions to provide “Today’s Care” and to strive for “Tomorrow’s Cure” and offers a free, comprehensive, national source of informational support for individuals living with paralysis and their caregivers. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. For more information, please visit our website at or call 800-539-7309.

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Adapted Recreationphoto of a student using a raider rig

The Adapted Recreation program provides competitive and recreational opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Although these programs are designed specifically for individuals with disabilities, everyone is encouraged and welcome to attend. Visit the Adapted Recreation webpage to learn more.

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