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The Role of Personal Assistants in Disability Support

Find out about the new role of personal assistants in disability support, and how to improve working relationships in the area.

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Improve working relationships between disabled people and personal assistants

Disabled people can now receive funding from their local authority to employ a personal assistant. While this gives them more personalised care in their own home, it also turns them into an employer.

This online course explores the role of personal assistance, and the risks and opportunities associated with it.

The course will encourage you to discuss ways to avoid and/or manage personal conflicts, whether you’re a disabled person or a personal assistant. It’s based on new evidence about the close working relationship between disabled people and their support workers – and how to improve it.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 3 seconds Personal assistance or PA is where disabled people living in the community are supported by workers who they employ directly. Usually, the disabled person is funded by their local authority to pay their workers themselves. PA is not the same as care. It’s about Independent Living. On this course, you will learn all about PA. Our training is suitable whether you are a disabled person, wanting to employ workers, or a care worker, wanting to work as a personal assistant. How is PA different from care? How can PA relationships be conducted safely and professionally? We’ve done the research with disabled people and their personal assistants to work out how PA can be operated better.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds We’ve developed this training in association with disabled people’s organisations to support successful Independent Living.

What topics will you cover?

  • Introduction to Independent Living and Personal Assistance
  • Recruitment: finding the right fit
  • What sort of personal assistance relationship works for you?
  • Understanding potential difficulties in personal assistance relationships
  • Understanding and managing practical difficulties
  • Understanding and managing personal difficulties
  • Understanding and managing process difficulties
  • Understanding and resolving conflict
  • Moving forward with personal assistance relationships

When would you like to start?

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Assess the working relationships between personal assistants and employers
  • Debate your own personal views about the personal assistance model
  • Develop your skills as a personal assistant or employer
  • Reflect on what a good working relationship looks like
  • Identify how you would resolve conflict in a working relationship

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for disabled people, current or prospective personal assistants, and anyone else who’s interested in disability support and how this new role has evolved in the UK and other parts of the world.

Who will you learn with?

I am Professor of Disability Research at the University of East Anglia, with 30 years experience of researching with disabled people. I currently teach sociology to medical students.

Who developed the course?

UEA (University of East Anglia)

The University of East Anglia is an internationally renowned university providing top quality academic, social and cultural facilities to over 15,000 students from over 100 countries around the globe.

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