Personal Assistance Services (PAS) refers to any and all forms of assistance that help (assist) persons with disabilities to do the things they would ordinarily be able to do if not for their disability. These include many of the traditional services provided through Medicaid and other state and federally funded supports such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Assistance is also given for home maintenance services such as cleaning, cooking, and shopping. PAS services, however, are not limited to these traditional supports. The view on what services are needed to live a "normal life" has been expanded. These include services that support access to work, education, sports, hobbies, clubs, and other community activities and events.
A Personal Assistant is someone who is hired to assist a person with a disability with any aspect of his or her life. However, this is only part of what Personal Assistance Services provide. Not every personal assistance service requires having another person doing something for you. PAS can also include assistive technology, home adaptations, transportation services, guide dogs, or an array of specialized training.
Previously, there was a more narrow view of what services were needed for people who had long-term care needs. Services were based on what the medically fragile required. However, what was not considered were the everyday wishes of individuals and what was important to them. PAS services are emerging to bridge this gap, and more services and policies are in development at both the federal and state levels.
Center for Accessible Society
The Center for Accessible Society has posted this article on personal assistance and what services are currently available through Medicaid. Follow the link to find resources to help you learn more about this topic.
Personal Assistance Services
Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU provides information on the latest research and best practices related to independent living.
Personal Assistance Services in the Workplace
This publication discusses using personal assistance services as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Also provides examples of these kinds of services for job applicants and employees.