1391.00 Personal Assistance Services Policy

(Revised October 2018)

Table of Contents


Personal Assistance Services are a range of services to assist an individual with a disability to perform more independently those activities that an individual would typically accomplish if he or she did not have a disability. These services increase the individual's control of his or her ability to perform everyday activities, and consequently lead to greater independence and achievement of the individual's vocational goal. Personal assistance services may be provided on or off the job while the individual is receiving vocational rehabilitation services.


ACCES-VR can provide personal assistance services only as support services when necessary to determine eligibility, assess vocational needs or achieve an employment goal as part of an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). These services are not subject to financial need; however, comparable benefits must be fully considered.

Personal assistance services may be provided for up to 90 days after the individual with a disability becomes employed, if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. They are necessary for the individual to maintain the job;
  2. No other sources of support are available; and,
  3. Arrangements have been made or are being made for the personal assistance services to continue through other sources after the 90-day period ends.

Personal assistance services may be the responsibility of agencies, programs and employers as reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and/ or under Section 503 or 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. ACCES-VR will not provide personal assistance services that are available as reasonable accommodations to enable individuals to fully participate in their programs, services or employment.

Personal assistance services include the following:

Attendant Services are provided to individuals with disabilities who, because of their disabilities, have limited mobility, endurance or personal care skills. These services may include, but are not limited to, assistance with personal hygiene, mobility, eating, dressing, errands and minor communication needs such as check writing, telephone calls and messages.

Interpreter Services are provided to individuals who are hard of hearing, deaf, or for people with severe speech impediments who experience limited verbal communication skills and have the ability to use interpreter services. People who are hard of hearing or deaf communicate in a variety of modes, such as American Sign Language (ASL) or a specific language system such as Signing in Exact English (SEE), Pidgin Signed English (PSE) or Signed English.

Interpreter services include:

  1. Interpreting, which is to convey spoken English to American Sign Language;
  2. Transliterating, which is to convey spoken English to a signed code of English;
  3. Oral Interpreting, which is conveying what is spoken without voice using natural lip movements;
  4. Voice Interpreting, which is conveying that which is signed into spoken English
  5. Computer Assisted Real Time (CART) Services, CART services are the near verbatim transcription of the spoken word into a visual text display on a computer screen. CART services are particularly useful for individuals who are late deafened, hard of hearing, or not fluent in American Sign Language (ASL); and
  6. FM Listening Systems, FM stands for frequency modulation and is a common form of radio transmission. Students with a hearing impairment may request the use of an FM Hearing System for use in classroom environment. The FM system utilizes a microphone and transmitter unit (worn by the instructor) and a receiver and headset (worn by student). The instructor's speech is transmitted to the student's receiver unit (via FM radio signal) and the student has the ability to control volume and other settings.

 Reader Services may include the following:

  1. Reading and recording notes for later listening by the individual;
  2. Recording textbooks or other printed materials;
  3. Use of amanuensis during test or written examinations;
  4. Use of a laboratory assistant when an individual must participate in laboratory experiments or exercises; and,
  5. Reading work related materials for an individual with a disability in an employment setting.

Reader services are provided with ACCES-VR funds only if there is no alternative such as the Readers Aid Program, volunteer readers, reading machines, magnification devices, braille, or large print resources.

Notetaker Services are provided for students, who because of their disability cannot effectively take notes in class or other training situations. Notetaker Services may include Livescribe smartpens.  The Livescribe smartpen is an alternative that allows individuals to capture words, diagrams, scribbles, symbols and audio syncs everything together so that the individual can go back and hear exactly what was being said at the moment they were writing. 

Notetaker services are provided when there are no viable alternatives such as volunteers, teacher notes or pre-printed material.


Rehabilitation Act:

  • Section 7(11); Section 103(6)

Federal Regulations:

  • 34 CFR 361.42(8)(9)

State Regulations:

  • Section 247.12; Section 247.13