The Role of Personal Assistants in Disability Support

The course is designed for people with disabilities, current or prospective support workers, and anyone else who’s interested in disability support and how the support worker role has evolved in the UK and other parts of the world.

Improve working relationships between disabled people and personal assistants

People with disabilities can now receive funding from the NDIS to employ a carer/support workers. While this gives them more personalised care in their own home, it also turns them into an employer. This online course, developed by Professor Tom Shakespeare, 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.

Topics covered include:

  • 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

Course Information

Tom Shakespeare, Professor of Disability Research at the University of East Anglia, has 30 years experience in disability research and developed this course. He currently teaches sociology to medical students. You can enrol here: