Personal assistance can be physical help or help to cope with sensorial or intellectual barriers. It depends on the type and severity of the disability and needs that individuals have. Anybody who wants and needs personal assistance can apply for it at a Social Work Center. A beneficiary to personal assistance can contact our project coordinators. Before the inclusion into the service, individuals must sign an agreement that defines the rights and responsibilities of users, service operator, and personal assistants.
Based on the questionnaire filled in by our users, we send them several candidates to choose from and pick a personal assistant that suits them most. Users must regularly provide schedules and keep records of personal assistant's presence at the workplace, and provide project coordinator with the information on assistant's performance. Users are also obliged to implementation of the independent living principles. Personal assistants have long-term working contracts with a 6 months trial period. Usually they do not have any prior experience and receive all the necessary know-how and knowledge on providing help to individual users on the job. Users take on a role of informal employers of their assistants with clearly defined duties and obligations and are required to maintain respectful and cordial relations. Every new user and every new personal assistant must undergo an independent living training program, where we introduce them to the principles of independent living, their rights and responsibilities and other practical and formal guidelines.
We also provide help and information for all aspects of empowerment of our users.
INDEPENDENT LIVING DEFINITION
Individuals manage their own lives based on their wishes, abilities and needs. Individuals also accept responsibility for their actions and duties that follow from managing and keeping records about personal assistance. A right to personal assistance is one of the basic rights that facilitate persons with disabilities (differently - abled people) with better integration into the society and control over their lives. Article 19 of the said Convention defines independent living and integration into community. It says that persons with disabilities must have an option to choose their permanent domicile and to choose where and with whom they would like to live. If they need help to live independently they have the right to personal assistance. Source: Camilla Parker and Luke Clements: The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: a New Right to Independent Living?, European Human Rights, Law Review, Issue 4, 2008, Sweet & Maxwell ltd.
Member countries must strive to implement these rights [of the Convention]. The goal of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is not to create new rights but to amend already existing human rights and to clarify duties and legal obligations of signatory states, ensuring that they respect and provide equal opportunities and enjoyment of all human rights of persons with disabilities.