Personal Care Attendants at DragonConEdit
Before we get to the meat of this, let’s define our terms. A personal care attendant (PCA) is a person who provides personal care to an individual with a significant disability by providing significant assistance with activities of daily living such as hygiene, toileting, dressing, eating, transfers, and complex medical care.
A companion (AKA minion) is a friend that Disability Services (DS) allows to stay with you in the disability line even though s/he isn’t disabled, because we don’t want you to be lonely. S/He may help you do some things, occasionally push a wheelchair, but is doing it because s/he’s your friend.
Every person with a disability is allowed one companion that can stay with them, in the DS line, in DS seating. We all need friends, we don’t all need PCAs.
DragonCon will allow Con-goers who need the services of a Personal Care Attendant to bring their PCA with certain qualifications. We have two levels of accommodation identified.
If you only need assistance with personal care at certain times, such as mealtimes, or morning and evening in the hotel room, you can bring a PCA for no charge. However, that person will not receive a DragonCon badge, and will not be allowed into programming space (any room where Con events are happening.) They will have full access to the public spaces of the hotels, can assist you to DragonCon events, but cannot stay and watch the show. The PCA will receive a small Disability Services badge that will identify them to security as a PCA for access to hotel space during restricted hours.
If you need more extensive care, and can justify why your PCA must be in that panel with you, we offer our second level of accommodation. The base ticket price ($80 in 2017) will be waived (although you will still pay any price increases for delaying purchase of a badge) and your PCA will receive a regular DragonCon badge with a PCA sticker. The person with a disability will have a “PCA required” sticker on their badge, the PCA will have a sticker that says “PCA” The PCA may accompany their person anywhere, but may not go into any programming space alone.
DragonCon has no obligation to provide personal assistance services for any attendee. By accepting the badge/sticker, a PCA agrees that they are willing, able, and responsible for providing all required PCA services during their attendance at DragonCon.
It is important to note that once you tell us you MUST have this other person with you at all times to meet a specific medical need, neither you nor your PCA is allowed to go into programming space alone.