Meeting the Nation's Need for Personal Assistance Services
State of the Science Conference, 2012


The Center for Personal Assistance Services held a state of the science conference in Washington DC on September 25, 2012. The 1-day invitational conference was held at the Access Board conference room in Washington, DC. It was designed to discuss issues and problems in the delivery of PAS and to develop a research agenda for study. It had two specific purposes. The first was to present a summary and synthesis of current research findings on PAS. Second, conference participants discussed research issues in the delivery of PAS in order to develop and disseminate a future research agenda for the study of PAS. A summary of the conference, "Toward an Agenda for Future Research" is available.

The conference was designed for a national agenda to improve programs, policies, and practices for those with disabilities who need personal assistance. The focus of the conference was on four specific areas:

  • The needs and unmet needs for PAS of people with disabilities;
  • The PAS workforce needed to provide appropriate high quality services;
  • PAS/HCBS programs, policies and strategies to improve access to effective PAS; and
  • PAS/HCBS costs and quality.

Prior to the conference, the PAS Center produced four short background syntheses papers prepared for attendees. Each conference session was a presentation and discussion on the four background papers, as well as the future research agenda. For the first session, Mitch LaPlante (UCSF) presented a synthesis paper on needs and unmet needs for PAS and the future research issues. Then, Charlene Harrington presented the synthesis paper and the future research issues on HCBS access. Steve Kaye presented the synthesis of HCBS cost and quality issues, followed by Dorie Seavey, (PHI) who presented the synthesis on PAS workforce issues and future directions.

Invited attendees included faculty researchers from the PAS Center (including partner faculty from RTI, PHI, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the Center on Disability at the Public Health Institute) and leading researchers in the aging and disability fields from across the country. Attendees also included advocates from the disability field (e.g., ADAPT, Centers for Independent Living, and National Council on Disability) and selected members from our Advisory Committee who are PAS users. Finally, the participants included key federal officials from AHRQ; NIDRR; ASPE, Office on Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy; NCOA; Administration for Community Living and other agencies.

The research agenda recommendations from the conference are expected to be of broad interest to many stakeholder groups including: researchers, policy makers, consumers, advocates, providers, employers, program managers, and others in all sectors including federal, state and local government officials. We are currently working on a manuscript identifying a research agenda for the future based on the conference findings.

SoS Syntheses Papers:



Archive to 2007 State of the Science Conference.

Funding for this project provided by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Grant #H133B031102 & #H133B080002 © 2004 - 2013. PASCenter.org - All rights reserved.