For many individuals with disabilities, personal assistance services (PAS) help make employment possible. Some people use PAS to carry out activities of daily living. Depending on the individual, such activities might include getting up and ready for work, bathing, dressing, cooking, cleaning, or running errands.
Some people also use PAS in the workplace. Examples of workplace PAS vary, but may involve activities such as retrieving materials out of reach or providing travel assistance for an employee with a mobility impairment; helping an employee with a cognitive disability in decision-making; reading printed materials to an employee who is visually impaired; or ensuring a sign language interpreter is present during meetings for an employee who is deaf.
Whether at home or work, PAS can be essential to employment success. Recognizing this, ODEP works to expand and raise awareness of employment-related PAS options. Meeting the needs of people on and off the job raises important policy issues for federal and state governments, service providers, and employers, as well as people with disabilities themselves. ODEP recognizes PAS is a critical issue — not only for those seeking employment, but also for those already employed. Improving PAS access and options helps not only reduce economic barriers for people with disabilities, but also increase awareness of the importance of direct care workers.
The following resources offer further information about PAS:
- Personal Assistance Services (PAS) in the Workplace — Publication on PAS developed by ODEP's Job Accommodation Network (JAN).
- Questions and Answers: Federal Agencies' Obligation to Provide Personal Assistance Services (PAS) under Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act — Guide from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to assist Federal agencies to provide personal assistance services (PAS) under Section 501 the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
- Personal Assistance Services on the Job — Information brief from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) for service providers to youth with disabilities.
- Making the Move to Managing Your Own Personal Assistance Services (PAS): A Toolkit for Youth with Disabilities Transitioning to Adulthood — Information about the kinds of PAS that can help a young person with disabilities become independent and transition to adulthood.
- Questions and Answers: The EEOC's Final Rule on Affirmative Action for People with Disabilities in Federal Employment — Information on PAS related to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's final rule to amend the regulations implementing Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Part of the rule requires that Federal agencies, as an aspect of affirmative action, provide personal assistance services to employees who need them because of a targeted disability.
- Funding Options for Personal Assistance Services (PDF) — This paper looks at how Flexible Spending Accounts can be used for PAS for people who need help with at least one activity of daily living (ADL).
- Resources on Personal Assistance Services — A series of guides and fact sheets about PAS from the Independent Living Research Utilization (ILRU) program, a national center for information, training, research, and technical assistance in independent living.
- Personal Assistance as a Reasonable Accommodation — Information from the U.S. Department of Transportation on workplace PAS. An employee who travels for work and requires these services is not personally responsible for covering the additional costs incurred as a direct result of the travel.