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Personal Assistance Services

Personal Assistance Services (PAS) allow individuals to perform activities of daily living that an individual would typically perform if they did not have a disability. PAS are services that are provided to people who require assistance to perform basic activities of daily living, such as assistance with removing and putting on clothing, eating, using the restroom, pushing a wheelchair or assistance with getting into or out of a vehicle at the work site.

Who qualifies to receive PAS?

One is qualified for PAS if they:

  • Are an employee of the agency
  • Require PAS because of a targeted disability
  • Will be able to perform the essential functions of their job, without posing a direct threat to safety, once PAS and any required reasonable accommodations have been provided.
In addition, providing PAS must not impose an undue hardship on DLA.

What do PAS cover?

PAS allow individuals to perform activities of daily living that an individual would typically perform if they did not have a disability. They do not help individuals with disabilities perform their specific job functions, such as reviewing documents or answering questions that come through a call-in center. PAS differ from services that help an individual to perform job-related tasks, such as sign language interpreters who enable individuals who are deaf to communicate with coworkers, and readers who enable individuals who are blind or have learning disabilities to read printed text.

How to Request PAS

The procedure to request PAS is the same as for requesting a Reasonable Accommodation. Tell your supervisor about your need, or contact your Disability Program Coordinator (DPC). (Link for DLA employees only.)

Privacy

We keep information relating to a PAS confidential.

Information Tracking and Reporting

We track and report PAS in a similar manner as reasonable accommodations.

Denial of Personal Assistance Services

The DLA is only required to provide PAS if the requesting employee is entitled to them under federal regulations. Therefore, the DLA may deny your request for PAS if:

  • You are not a DLA employee
  • You don’t have a targeted disability that creates a need for PAS
  • You aren’t able to perform the essential functions of your job, even with PAS and reasonable accommodations
  • You would create a direct threat to safety on the job, even with PAS and reasonable accommodations; or
  • Providing PAS would impose undue hardship on the agency.

Formal Definitions

Personal Assistance Services

Assistance with performing activities of daily living that an individual would typically perform if he or she did not have a disability, and that is not otherwise required as a reasonable accommodation, including, for example, assistance with removing and putting on clothing, eating, using the restroom, pushing a wheelchair or assisting someone with getting into or out of a vehicle at the worksite. (Note that this is not an exhaustive list.)

Targeted Disability

Targeted disabilities are a subset of conditions that would be considered disabilities under the Rehabilitation Act. The federal government has recognized that qualified individuals with certain disabilities face significant barriers to employment, which for some people may include lack of access to PAS in the workplace, that are above and beyond the barriers faced by people with the broader range of disabilities. The federal government calls these "targeted disabilities."
Note, however, that not everyone with a targeted disability will be entitled to PAS under the new regulations, because only some individuals with targeted disabilities require assistance with basic activities like eating and using the restroom. Medical conditions that are more likely to result in the need for PAS include, for example, missing limbs or paralysis due to spinal cord injury.

Undue Hardship

Undue hardship means that an accommodation would be unduly costly, extensive, substantial or disruptive, or would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the department.

Essential Functions of a Job

Those job duties that are so fundamental to the position that the individual holds or desires that they cannot do the job without performing them. A function can be “essential” if, among other things:

  • the position exists specifically to perform that function,
  • there are a limited number of other employees who could perform the function, or
  • the function is specialized and the individual is hired based on their ability to perform it.
Determination of the essential functions of a position must be done on a case-by-case basis so that it reflects the job as actually performed, and not simply the components of a generic position description.