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Personal Assistance: A Key to Employability

Nosek MA, Foley CC. Personal assistance: A key to employability. Directions in Rehabilitation Counseling 1995; 6(5): 1-9.


A significant number of Americans with disabilities have limited employment opportunities because of a lack of reliable, affordable personal assistance. Rehabilitation counselors often see clients who receive state agency support for paid personal assistance services while they are in school; however, once they graduate, the clients are unable to secure employment salaries at levels that cover expense of personal assistance services. In other situations, clients rely on family members for personal assistance during schooling due to a lack of funds; however, because of the continued lack of funds and an inexperience with management of non-family assistants, difficulties arise when persons with disabilities want to move away from home. This lesson answers the following questions: What is personal assistance? How is it used by persons with disabilities? How effective are the various options for obtaining personal assistance? How does the availability of personal assistance affect employability? Recommendations for rehabilitation counselors on how to assist their clients to meet personal assistance needs more effectively are provided.

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