- What is the Carleton University/Algonquin College Attendant Services Program?
The Carleton University/Algonquin College Attendant Services Program offers assistance with personal care attendant to students with physical disabilities living in residence while studying at Carleton University or Algonquin College.
- What are the program’s hours of operation?
The service operates twenty-four-hours a day, all year at Carleton University, and from late August to late April at Algonquin College.
There is also an annual two-week shutdown at Christmas, dates vary each year.
- I’m confused by the term “Attendant services.” What specific services do you provide?
The program provides non-medical assistance with everyday tasks such as transferring, using the washroom, grooming, cutting up food, assistance with eating, etc. Staff are also available to assist with other tasks that your child may not be able to do independently such as cleaning, laundry and setting up books.
Most students receive assistance in the morning, at night, with meals and a few calls during the day but will respond to service requests 24 hours per day.
Before arriving on campus, students with disabilities will complete a service plan with the program to ensure that all of their needs can be met.
The student must be able to direct their own service. The attendant is present to follow directions, within reason. You must be responsible for things like money and laundry.
- What services are excluded?
Generally, staff are prohibited from performing medical procedures.
In addition, staff will not assist with the following: shopping, homework, wake-up calls, cleaning up after guests, and moving. Attendants will not accompany students to medical appointments or to the hospital.
Academic accommodation is provided by the Paul Menton Centre at Carleton, and the Centre for Accessible Learning at Algonquin.
- Are all of the services planned out and scheduled?
Morning and evening routines are scheduled. Also, meal preparation must be scheduled for those students who cannot take their meals in the cafeteria due to dietary restrictions. Students may elect to schedule other parts of their service if desired, but it is not required. For most other needs, students are free to call the attendant on duty whenever they require assistance.
- How much does the service cost for the student?
There is no cost to the student for residents of Ontario. The program is funded by the Ontario government through the Local Health Integrated Network of the Ministry of Health. Students from out of province or out of country require a funding agreement between the Program and their Provincial government. The Executive Director can provide assistance with this.
- Do the attendants go to class with students?
No. The attendants remain primarily in the residence complex so that they may respond to calls from other students. If you need accommodation in the classroom, such as note takers, contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (Algonquin) or the Paul Menton Centre (Carleton).
In some rare cases, clients as a part of their service plan, may need help getting to class, but the attendant would not remain there. Most of the service is provided within the residence complex. At Algonquin, the cafeteria is located within the main campus, so there is more service provision throughout campus than at Carleton.
- What if the student needs accommodation and services during the summer?
Students with disabilities have the option of living in Residence at Carleton for the summer, regardless of which school they attend. The Carleton Residences operate similar to a hotel for the summer.
- How do services differ from what is received at home?
Services will differ in a number of ways:
1) At home the student may get undivided attention from parents or a caregiver; on campus, the attendant on duty must consider the needs of all the clients. Therefore, clients will be expected to request assistance for only those tasks which you cannot do independently (or with significant difficulty). Also, since most services are unscheduled, some calls are answered immediately while at other times there is a wait if multiple calls are coming in at the same time.
Similar to any young adult leaving home, students are required to take on more responsibility when they arrive on campus. One of the goals of the program is for the student with a disability to be more independent when they leave so they are prepared for living in the community.
2) Attendants may need to take precautions or alter the service plan to ensure safety. Transfers may be altered or staff may use gloves for some activities so that they do not transfer bacteria to themselves and other clients.
3) While at home, students with disabilities often receive assistance from parents, or very few people overall. At Carleton and Algonquin students will receive assistance from a sizeable number of staff.
- What if the student’s disability makes studying full-time difficult?
Students can enroll part-time and still be eligible to live in Residence. Inquire with the Program if you need assistance.