News Release

May 23, 2006

Contact: Carolyn Pennington, 860-679-4864

New Resources Will Help the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Maintain Their Independence

FARMINGTON, CONN. – Thanks to a federal grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the University of Connecticut A.J. Pappanikou Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities is working with other state departments to enhance the recruitment and retention of personal assistants who help those with disabilities living in the community.

For those with disabilities, personal assistants help with various tasks such as bathing, dressing and eating. Currently, there is a shortage of personal assistants and the Connecticut Department of Labor estimates the need for personal assistants will almost double by 2012. This shortage limits the ability of those with disabilities to live in the community independently.

The Community-Integrated Services and Supports Grant or C-PASS, has supported the development of recruitment materials to promote personal assistants as a career. The C-PASS grant is also piloting a training program that teaches employers, in this case the person with the disability, to be better managers. That training includes conflict resolution, interviewing techniques and employee safety, to name a few.

The Pappanikou Center is working in collaboration with the state departments of Public Health, Social Services and Mental Retardation. For further information on the C-PASS project, contact Andrew Bate, Therese Nadeau or Christine Gaynor project coordinator at 860-679-1500 (local) 860-679-1502 (TTY) or 866-623-1315 (toll-free).

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