Disability news service blog post, by John Pring, 6 July: Using personal assistants works, research concludes… but it can go wrong
Enabling disabled people with support needs to employ personal assistants (PAs) – rather than relying on traditional care workers – can be empowering and liberating, but relationships with PAs “can sometimes go wrong”, according to new research.
The Personal Assistance Relationships study, led by the disabled academic Professor Tom Shakespeare (pictured), highlights the “complex” and “variable” nature of personal assistance relationships, and warns that they involve “a dynamic interplay of emotions, ethics and power”.
He told an event in London, held to launch the University of East Anglia research, that “personal assistance works” and that it provides disabled people with freedom and control.
But he added: “It is not straightforward, particularly for people who don’t come from the tradition of the disabled people’s movement.”
He told the launch event that personal assistance was “one of the revolutionary innovations of the disabled people’s movement”, alongside the concept of independent living.