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Workplace RERC

State of the Science Conference
September 15-16, 2005

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Workplace Personal Assistance Services (PAS)

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Slides Index Slides 1-15 Slides 16-31 Slides 32-43

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  1. How is workplace PAS paid for?
  2. Who pays?
  3. Written policies?
  4. Co-workers
  5. Don't expect the employer to guess
  6. Employee Lesson: Be prepared
  7. Best Practices in Workplace PAS
  8. Barriers
  9. Looking forward: agenda for further research
  10. Resources
  11. Job Accommodation Network:
  12. Center for Personal Assistance Services:

Slide 32 of 43

How is workplace PAS paid for?

  • Combination of employer pay and personal pay (one or the other or both)
  • Blue Cross (Medical insurance)
  • 250% program (Working Disabled Program) allows public payment for PA hours
  • Keep income, hours low enough to stay on public payments

  • Slide 33 of 43

    Who pays?

    In our survey, the 20 WPPAS users reported an average of 49.1 paid hours of PAS, including 17.3 hours of paid WPPAS. They used an additional 15.5 hours of unpaid PAS, and 6 hours of unpaid WPPAS. Most used more than one source of payment. 11 reported that employers paid for WPPAS, 7 reported Medicaid payment, 15 used some public benefits, 10 reported personal payment and of these 8 also used other sources. One user’s PAS is paid by Blue Cross, another by a state grant.
    Average personal cost was $148 per week, with a range from 0 to $500 for PAS, and $34.50 average for WPPAS (range 0 to $250 per week)

    Slide 34 of 43

    Written policies?

  • Some employers have written policies regarding AT and PAS, others do not
  • AT processes more developed than PAS processes. Many PAS processes follow those established for AT.
  • Case by case basis only. Go to a specialist who would determine need, solution

  • Slide 35 of 43


  • Lack of understanding sometimes. Complain that the PA isn’t doing enough work.
  • Need for awareness training for co-workers (or worker may be blamed for such things as irregular paratransit schedules, need for breaks,etc.)

  • Slide 36 of 43

    Don’t expect the employer to guess

  • “People take work and never communicate about their needs. Then the employer is unprepared.”
  • An accommodation study of UCSF staff found:

  • Slide 37 of 43

    Employee Lesson: Be prepared

  • Help employer know what is needed for the job
  • Be informed about what you can ask for and what you can’t ask for (before talking to an employer)
  •, Workplace PAS

  • Slide 38 of 43

    Best Practices in Workplace PAS

    Criteria for selection of promising practices:
    1. The practice has been in place for at least six months;
    2. There is evidence that the practice has made a difference in either hiring or retaining workers with disabilities;
    3. The practice is consumer-sensitive:
      1. The practice makes it easy for the worker to request the assistance needed;
      2. The practice provides for consumer self-determination; and
    4. The practice is transferable to other organizations.

    Slide 39 of 43


  • Perceived costs to employer
  • Perceived costs to work unit
  • Risk/insurance, especially for personal care
  • Co-worker and supervisor attitude
  • Employee attitude and preparation
  • Waiting time for accommodations
  • Space needs for additional person
  • Security clearance requirements

  • Slide 40 of 43

    Looking forward: agenda for further research

    Slide 41 of 43


  • Job Accommodation Network (JAN):
  • “Idea” paper on workplace PAS accommodations, practical PAS suggestions and ADA information.
  •, Workplace PAS, for library, state WPPAS activity, statistics and research findings
  • NCWD-Youth paper on what employers can ask (reviewed with Department of Labor lawyers)

  • Slide 42 of 43

    Job Accommodation Network:

    Slide 43 of 43

    Center for Personal Assistance Services:

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