(2010) | Useful to youth with disabilities, families, and Parent Centers working with youth who have disabilities.
Transitioning into adulthood can be awkward for nearly every young person. For transition-age youth with disabilities, issues surrounding managing Personal Assistance Services (PAS) can be intensified by normal developmental concerns such as striking out on your own and navigating the road into adulthood. Accessing and maintaining long-term supports, such as PAS, has often been a significant barrier to employment for youth and adults with disabilities.
This guide from the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth assists youth in strengthening some of the most fundamental skills essential for successfully managing their own PAS: effective communication, time-management, working with others, and establishing professional relationships. Such skills are key to not only enhancing independence, but also thriving in the workplace and growing professionally.
Access to toolkit and related tipsheets, at:
View companion videos of students with disabilities who use PAS, at:
More about the Toolkit
Topics covered in the toolkit include:
- Understanding the differences between job-related and personal PAS;
- Evaluating individual readiness to live independently and manage PAS;
- Establishing goals in transitioning to greater independence;
- Identifying individual PAS needs;
- Considering a service dog;
- Advertising for, interviewing, and hiring personal assistants;
- Covering the costs of PAS;
- Managing and training assistants;
- Handling awkward moments with personal assistants;
- Recognizing abusive situations; and
- Firing personal assistants.
Whether moving from school or a home setting to work, college, or living on their own, transition-age youth and their families or friends would benefit from the information and guidance offered by the toolkit. Sample worksheets, questions, and charts provide readers clear, helpful examples of things to consider along the path to greater independence. And stories from real youth and their families give practical insight and guidance for youth with disabilities who want to manage their own PAS.
The toolkit is available in PDF format. There are also companion videos featuring youth with disabilities who use PAS and several related tipsheets, including:
- Independent Living Checklist (PDF, 498 KB)
- Thinking Outside the Box: Service Dogs (PDF, 517 KB)
Links updated, February 2019