Disability Support Services Policies

Graduation Requirement Modification (GRM) Policy

This policy is intended as an accommodation for a very limited number of students who may be eligible for a modified BHCC graduation requirement. BHCC students are required to meet all program requirements for graduation.   Students may be eligible for modified graduation requirements in extremely rare cases and at the sole discretion of the College.

Students with a disability and are registered with DSS may seek a Graduation requirement modification as a reasonable accommodation.  All requests for modification will be considered by DSS in consultation with the appropriate academic dean.  Any GRM’s that results in the fundamental alteration of the requirements of a degree program shall not be considered a reasonable accommodation.   A GRM might include an alternative learning experience,  substitution of another course or waiver of a requirement. If approved, the GRM will  accommodate the student’s documented disability,  while  aligning with the academic outcomes and intent of the college’s course and/or graduation requirements. 

 Modifications made at previous institutions (including high school) are not automatically accepted at BHCC, and in turn, those made at BHCC may not be accepted for transfer at other institutions.

 To be considered for graduation under modified requirements, a
student must have:

  1. Matriculated in a program of study for at least one (1) academic year.
  2. Registered with Disability Support Services (DSS).
  3. Provided documentation of a  disability by a qualified health care provider, including a  licensed physician or psychologist.   This documentation must relate to the GRM requested.
  4. Diagnostic reports must include the names, titles and professional credentials of the evaluators, as well as the date(s) of testing.
  5. Attained reasonable success in non-modified required courses
  6. Demonstrated that a reasonable attempt or attempts have been made at BHCC to satisfy the requirements using all available DSS supports and/or services.

To obtain a GRM, you must complete the GRM process.  Completing this process does not guarantee that a GRM will be approved.

Step 1: Student completes the Petition for Graduation Requirement Modification form. The Petition for Graduation Modification Request form can be obtained from your Academic Dean's Office.

Step 2: Student submits completed Petition Form to DSS for verification.

Step 3: DSS verifies student is registered with the office, ensures that the documented disability relates to the GRM requested, and that relevant support services have been accessed.

Step 4:  DSS submits completed form to the appropriate Academic Dean.

Step 5: DSS and Academic Dean evaluate and determine whether GRM is an effective and reasonable accommodation in light of the student’s disability or whether the GRM would result in the fundamental alteration of the requirements of the degree program.

Step 6: The student is notified by DSS of the decision and any next steps via their BHCC email account within 30 days of receipt of the request.

Personal Care Attendant Policy

1.0 Purpose

Bunker Hill Community College is committed to ensuring that all students with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids, and services to ensure equal access to and nondiscrimination in all College programs, services, and activities. Bunker Hill Community College makes every reasonable effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and applicable state law.

Bunker Hill Community College permits students with certain documented disabilities who need  assistance with daily activities  (i.e., dressing, bathing, feeding, transporting, errands, etc.) and/or require nursing care to retain the services of a Personal Care Attendant (PCA).   Bunker Hill Community College does not provide, coordinate, or assume any financial responsibilities for PCA services.  The hiring, training, supervising and paying for PCA services is the sole responsibility of the student.

Students who require PCA services must make arrangements to provide for his/her own PCA and must follow the policies, procedures and guidelines as listed below.

2.0 Revision History


3.0 Persons Affected

Students with documented disabilities that require  assistance from a PCA.

4.0 Policy

Bunker Hill Community College strives to reasonably and effectively accommodate qualified students with disabilities in accordance with applicable laws. An accommodation may require the use of a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) to address the personal needs of a qualified student with a disability in order for that student to fully participate in College activities, services, and programs. Students must request all accommodations, including the use of a PCA, through Disability Services (DS). Disability Services will then determine if the student’s documentation is sufficient to support the request for the use of a PCA. It is the responsibility of the qualified student with a disability to make appropriate arrangements to obtain and maintain PCA services. The College does not coordinate, supervise or pay for PCA services and assumes no responsibility over the relationship between a student and his/her PCA.

5.0 Definitions

Student with a Disability: A student with a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such impairment or is regarded as having such an impairment.

Qualified Student with a Disability (QSWD): A student who has a documented disability and can perform the essential functions and/or technical standards of an academic program, with or without reasonable accommodation and has submitted medical documentation to Disability Support Services to support consideration for accommodations under applicable law.

Student: A currently enrolled member of the Bunker Hill Community College student body.

Personal Care: The performance of routine daily tasks of a personal nature that enables an individual to function independently.  These activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • activities of daily living, such as, walking, bathing, dressing, toileting, grooming;
  • transporting or escorting;
  • turning pages, retrieving books; and
  • alerting of dangerous conditions, environment or situation.

Personal Care Attendant: A PCA is defined as a person who provides personal care/assistance (chronic or temporary) to a student with a disability or other health care needs with activities of daily living including nursing services or assistance with normal life functions.

6.0 Student Responsibilities

It is the student’s sole responsibility to make the appropriate arrangements to contract services with a licensed agency to provide the services of a Personal Care Attendant or a licensed, private PCA to provide these services. Any student who wishes to request these accommodations must:

  • Provide Disability Services with medical documentation (see Disability Services Documentation Guidelines). Documentation must specify (i) the nature of the disability, (ii) the need for the PCA and, (iii) the services to be provided by the PCA.
  • Secure a PCA prior to attending any college-related activity, (i.e. orientation, placement testing, registration, programs, events, and class attendance). The college will not be responsible for providing a PCA on an interim basis.
  • It is highly recommended that the student hire a licensed medical/nursing agency and provide a copy to BHCC Office of Disability Services prior to  Disability services recommends against using a friend or family member as a PCA.
  • Develop a clear job description/contract and list of responsibilities for assistance with daily living activities. The student will direct the activities of the PCA while at BHCC. BHCC will not assume responsibility for the PCA or his/her/their failure to fulfill the contracted responsibilities.
  • Ensure that each PCA completes the Personal Care Attendant Agreement each academic year and completes a criminal and sex offender background check and immunization clearances prior to beginning their duties on campus and provide a copy to the BHCC Office of Disability Services.
  • The student shall notify the BHCC Office of Disability Services if PCA personnel changes occur during the semester and the new PCA and the student shall complete the Personal Care Attendant Agreement through Disability Services prior to beginning their duties on campus.
  • Ensure that the PCA clearly understands his or her duties and responsibilities.
  • Establish a contingency plan should the regularly scheduled PCA be unavailable.
  • Ensure that PCA follows College policies and abides by the Student Handbook.
  • The student is responsible for all actions of his/her PCA.
  • Pay for all PCA services.

Parking near campus is managed via the City of Boston.  Student parking passes may be purchased on-line for the students PCA by the student.

PCA Responsibilities:

  • Follow all applicable Bunker Hill Community College policies and abide by the BHCC Student Handbook. A PCA found in violation of College policies will be removed from campus immediately regardless of the contractual agreement the PCA has with the student.
  • Submit to a background check and complete the Personal Care Attendant Agreement each academic year, prior to beginning work on campus to the student.
  • Permitted to be on campus only when the student is present.
  • Provide only the agreed upon personal care services. PCA shall not participate in academic and student activities (i.e. class discussions, writing papers, test taking, completing class assignments, or participating in campus programs and events.)
  • PCA shall not provide classroom accommodations, such as note taking, scribing, reading or proctoring.
  • The PCA should not be involved with the student’s work related to any class assignments or test.
  • Conduct themselves in a courteous and professional manner.
  • Park in designated location.
  • Shall not bring guests on to campus.
  • In the event of an emergency evacuation, the PCA should assist the student with exiting the building safely. 

7.0 Procedures

Qualified Students with Disabilities who require the services of a PCA must initiate contact with DS as soon as possible after gaining admission to the College or registering for classes.  Students should follow these guidelines to arrange the use of a PCA.

  1. Complete an intake interview with Disability Services.  Submit disability documentation from a medical professional, and request the use of a PCA as an accommodation.  The DS coordinator will review the disability documentation and if needed, seek clarification from the medical professional regarding the request for accommodation.  Documentation guidelines are provided in the DS Student Manual and upon request.
  2. Submit a copy of the PCA(s) CORI/SORI to Disability Services.
  3. Register the PCA with Disability Services. The student, DS Coordinator, and PCA will review the PCA Agreement together.  Both the student and the PCA will sign and date the Disability Services PCA Agreement.  Upon completion, the student’s DS coordinator will sign and date the agreement as well.  Copies will be made for all parties involved. 
  4. If any changes are made in the provision of PCA services, the student must notify the DS Coordinator immediately. If a new PCA is used, a new agreement will be completed with the new PCA, the student, and DS coordinator.

8.0 Sanctions

The College reserves the right to restrict or deny a PCA’s access to College property.  A student may grieve the College’s decision to do so pursuant to the Policy on Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Diversity’s Complaint Procedure.

Sign Language Interpreter Policy

The Disability Support Services Office will coordinate sign language interpreter services for students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Any student requesting a sign language interpreter must do so in accordance with the following DSS policies:

  • Prior to the beginning of the semester, the student must submit documentation of his or her deafness or hearing loss to the DSS office.  Based on this documentation, DSS staff will determine   through an interactive dialogue with the student whether interpreter services constitute an effective and reasonable accommodation.
  • If an interpreter is needed for a class/classes, it is strongly recommended that the student submit the request to the DSS office a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the beginning of the semester.  It may be difficult to fulfill requests made less than 2 weeks in advance due to the limited availability of qualified interpreters.
  • If an interpreter is needed for an event, appointment, or meeting, the student should make the request to the DSS office as soon as possible, preferably at least 2 weeks prior to the event.
  • The student must introduce him/herself to the interpreter on the first day of class or prior to an event or meeting commencing.
  • The student is required to notify the DSS office as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours, if unable to attend a class or event where interpreter services are scheduled.
  • Interpreters will wait 15 minutes after a class or event begins for a student to arrive. If a student does not show up or notify the DSS office, the interpreter will leave and the student will be marked absent.
  • If a student misses 3 classes and/or events, without reasonable excuse, interpreting services will be terminated until the student meets with staff in the DSS office.

DSS will make all reasonable attempts to arrange for sign language interpreting services for eligible students. Due to the limited availability of qualified interpreters in Massachusetts, it may not always be possible to honor all requests within the time allotted.