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Faculty & Staff

Guide to Accommodating Students with Disabilities

Policy Regarding Personal Aids and Services for Students with Disabilities

The following is an excerpt from the web page of the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights ( concerning Auxiliary Aids and Services for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities.  Please note as stated below:  "Personal attendants and individually prescribed devices are the responsibility of the student who has a disability and not of the institution."  It is the policy of Virginia Western Community College that students with disabilities must be able to get to and from their classes and other offices on campus on their own or make their own arrangements for a personal attendant at their own expense to accompany them on campus.  Wheelchairs or scooters are aids to mobility and, therefore, must be supplied by the student.

Personal Aids and Services

An issue that is often misunderstood by postsecondary officials and students is the provision of personal aids and services.  Personal aids and services, including help in bathing, dressing, or other personal care, are not required to be provided by postsecondary institutions. The Section 504 regulation states:

Recipients need not provide attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature.

Title II of the ADA AMENDMENTS ACT similarly states that personal services are not required.

In order to ensure that students with disabilities are given a free appropriate public education, local education agencies are required to provide many services and aids of a personal nature to students with disabilities when they are enrolled in elementary and secondary schools. However, once students with disabilities graduate from a high school program or its equivalent, education institutions are no longer required to provide aids, devices, or services of a personal nature.

Postsecondary schools do not have to provide personal services relating to certain individual academic activities. Personal attendants and individually prescribed devices are the responsibility of the student who has a disability and not of the institution. For example, readers may be provided for classroom use but institutions are not required to provide readers for personal use or for help during individual study time.

Stipulations for Assistance Animals

Assistance animals trained to provide the appropriate accommodation(s) related to the functional limitation(s) of the person with the disability are allowed on the Virginia Western Community College campus.  The following stipulations apply:

  1. The assistance animal must be under the handler’s control at all times. 
  2. Guide dogs for the visually impaired must be harnessed and trained as guides for the visually impaired.  Guide dogs for the hearing impaired must be trained as hearing guide dogs and wear blaze orange leashes.  Guide dogs for mobility impaired persons must be harnessed or wearing backpacks, and be trained as service dogs. 
  3. Where applicable, assistance animals must be licensed and inoculated for rabies in accordance with the Code of Virginia.
  4. The assistance animal may not fundamentally alter the services provided by the college, interfere with the safe operation of the college, or pose a direct threat to others.
  5. The disabled person is liable for any damages to himself or herself, the premises, or the facility caused by his or her assistance animal.