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A Step-by-Step Guide to Training and Managing Personal Assistants: Consumer Guide

The resources and information in the Milestones Autism Resources Center are meant to be a reference, and should not be considered comprehensive or an endorsement or recommendation of any providers, methodologies or services from any of the groups, agencies or companies listed. We urge you to make independent judgment when selecting a professional to assist you. We provide guiding questions to help you think through what is right for your situation.

Person: University of Kansas
Phone: 785.864.4095
Agency: Research and Training Center on Independent Livin


In the 1970s, a group of students with disabilities in Berkeley, California, realized
that they knew as much, or more, about their personal assistance needs than the
medical personnel. These disability advocates thought that if they were to live as
independently as possible they should be responsible for hiring, training, and
supervising their personal assistants.

This guide from the Research and Training Center on Independent Living at the University of Kansas was written especially for self-advocates but is helpful for families as well. It details all the steps of finding, hiring, and training a care assistant, as well as what to do once you find one you like: spelling out duties and responsibilities by contract or verbal agreement, scheduling, payment, and safety.

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