"Response that makes it possible for people with unusual abilities to participate fully in the community, contribute to society and have great lives." (Snow*)
"Personal Assistance involves assisting in the daily tasks (functional) that a person cannot carry out by themselves or that they would find so time consuming as to interfere with other important activities (i.e. work, school, recreation)." (Snow)
"Personal assistance can also be described as an intimate dance, led by the person who is building and fulfilling their place in the community and who relies on the interface their assistant provides to be able to function in an otherwise inaccessible world". (Snow)
What is a Personal Assistant/Direct Support Provider?
The role of a Personal Assistant/Direct Support Provider is to fill in the gaps so that the person with a disability can do what they want to do. "The Personal Assistant/Direct Support Provider may be the hands to assist with filling, driving, eating or bathing; the voice to help with communication; the eyes for reading; or the feet to run errands." (CTAPA*)
Snow refers to Personal Assistants/Direct Support Provider as the 'sidekick' of disabled persons.
"Personal Assistants/Direct Support Providers perform their tasks in a way that is transparent, without overshadowing the contributions and personality of the person who is being assisted." (Snow)
* Judith Snow, www.inclusion.com, What is Personal Assistance and What it is not.
* CTAPA, Connecticut Association for Personal Assistants