Personal Assistance Services for Workers with Disabilities: Views and Experiences of Rehabilitation Service Providers
(2007). Personal Assistance Services for Workers with Disabilities: Views and Experiences of Rehabilitation Service Providers. Disability Studies Quarterly, 27(3)
The article presents the results of research conducted to determine the experiences and perceptions of rehabilitation service providers on the provision of PAS in the workplace. The study focused on (a) the definitional problems surrounding workplace PAS, (b) accessibility to PAS at the workplace, and (c) availability of resources (money and trained personal attendants). The rehabilitation service providers indicated that the success of providing PAS depended on establishing a strong, positive relationship with employers and jointly working with them on the support services needed by people with disabilities in the workplace. Barriers to providing work-related PAS included lack of qualified assistants, transportation, and employers' lack of understanding of PAS. Major recommendations made by the rehabilitation service providers included: ~(1) Establish enforceable policies and procedures for provision of PAS, ~(2) Increase funding to pay for PAS (for personal care as well as for work-related activities), ~(3) Promote better wages for personal assistants,~(4) Provide appropriate and adequate information about PAS to individuals with disabilities, service providers, and employers, and ~(5) Expand PAS to young people with disabilities as they transition from school to work and also to older employees as they begin to have age-related impairments. ~If people with severe disabilities are to be independent and productive members of their communities, serious consideration must be given to provision of workplace PAS.