Managing Your Own Personal Assistance Services (PAS) – Strategies for Youth

For transition-age youth using personal assistance services (PAS), issues surrounding managing PAS can intensify by striking out on their own, refining their self-identity, and navigating transitions to adulthood. Additionally, barriers from funding and program eligibility to legal and culture issues are daunting. Participants will receive a PAS toolkit for youth focusing on strengthening skills essential for successfully managing PAS and will try out interactive exercises. After this session, participants will be able to:  • Understand their independent living needs;  • Identify what they are looking for in a personal assistant;  • Hire, manage, and fire a personal assistant; and  • Work through some of the challenges and uncomfortable situations related to finding personal assistance services This session will provide young people with disabilities, including their friends and families, and youth service professionals with a toolkit on personal assistance services. This toolkit can be used in the school, work, and community settings. This toolkit explains the benefit of a personal assistant and provides worksheets that youth can use to identify what their specific needs are and to create goals and plans for independent living. It also includes worksheets on screening and interviewing a PAS candidate, sample application form, sample questions to ask references for PAS, and a sample employee contract. All of this information is provided in easy to use and youth friendly language.

Dana Fink