Personal Assistant Program
Personal Assistant Program
Ashley Purpura, Personal Assistant Coordinator
The Personal Assistant Program is designed to provide services that address the personal needs of individuals with disabilities. Persons who may benefit from these services may have a permanent disability such as a spinal cord injury or a temporary disability such as a fractured hip.
A personal assistant or P.A. is an individual who assists a person with a disability in activities of daily living. Personal assistance refers to the type of service being provided, which is "personal."
The personal assistant works under the direction of his or her employer, i.e. the person with the disability.
The activities with which the personal assistant may help include personal care, meal preparation, shopping, errands, and light secretarial duties. This depends on the person’s functional abilities.
Personal assistants allow individuals with disabilities to remain at home instead of being placed in a nursing home, other care facility, or an institution.
Personal Assistant Orientations
The Center offers an orientation program for persons interested in becoming personal assistants. A training manual is provided as a guide. The training involves understanding the relationship between the IVCIL, the Division of Rehabilitation Services, and the consumer; utilizing communication skills; understanding the employer-employee relationship; fraud, abuse and mandatory reporting; reviewing universal precautions; how to be a personal assistant; and receiving information regarding different types of disabilities. Once individuals successfully complete the program, and pass a background check, they are placed on a current personal assistant referral list that is made available to consumers upon request. This orientation is mandatory to be placed on our personal assistant registry.
All prospective caregivers attend a four our orientation. At the orientation, a number of different aspects of care-giving are discussed, including:
- Disability Etiquette
- Independent Living Philosophy
- Personal Assistant Characteristics: dependability, reliability, trust, and compassion
- The Employer-Employee Relationship
- Fraud abuse, neglect and exploitation, consequences and mandatory reporting
- Universal Safety Precautions & Blood borne Pathogens: to protect themselves and their employer
- The Home Service Plan, the Division of Rehabilitation Services, & any paperwork involved with pay through this agency
- The Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities of a Personal Assistant
See our Calendar of Events for upcoming Personal Assistant Orientations.
Personal Assistant Management Training
This is provided to all participating consumers to enhance management skills of individuals who employ personal assistants. The independent living philosophy is key in the Personal Assistant Program because consumers determine who they will interview, hire, and also terminate.
Funding a Personal Assistant
Funding may be available to pay for services, but restrictions for funding (such as age, functional abilities, and income factors) do apply. Family members might request personal assistant services to create opportunities for themselves to change their schedules when caring for a loved one with a disability. In response to this kind of request, IVCIL’s Personal Assistant Program can help locate personal assistants to provide the compassionate care required for families who find themselves in such situations. This service frequently is referred to as respite care.
Illinois Valley Center for Independent Living is seeking self-motivated, responsible and caring individuals to be placed on the IVCIL Personal Assistant (PA) Referral Registry for interview and possible employment by persons with disabilities in their homes. IVCIL serves Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam, and Stark Counties in Illinois.
The pay-rate (set by the State of Illinois) is presently $13.00 per hour.
Healthcare Workers’ background check required.
Successful completion of the Registry process includes: completing and returning the Data Information Form and the Statement of Understanding, passing the Health Care Workers' Background Check, and successfully completing the test at the end of the orientation.
For further information about the program you may contact Jenni Richards, Personal Assistant Coordinator - firstname.lastname@example.org. Data Information Form and Statement of Understanding must be completed and brought to the orientation for which you registered.
PLEASE NOTE THAT IVCIL DOES NOT DIRECTLY EMPLOY PERSONAL ASSISTANTS. IVCIL ASSISTS PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES TO LOCATE AND HIRE THEIR OWN PERSONAL ASSISTANTS. THIS IS KNOWN AS CONSUMER CHOICE.
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