Personal Assistants


Personal Assistants: An Independent Living Resource


Tim Granzow

Senior PA Training Coordinator

(312) 640-2193

As part of the Independent Living philosophy, Access Living provides disabled people with the resources to hire and employ their own personal assistants. We also train people who would like to become a personal assistant for people with disabilities. The State of Illinois pays personal assistants $17.25/hour and CNAs $18.50/hour.

Please Note: Access Living is not a hiring agency for personal assistants.

How do I become a Personal Assistant (PA)?

Access Living provides training for people interested in becoming a Personal Assistant. Training sessions are held several times a month at Access Living and at other local community organizations. View our events calendar for upcoming training dates.

To attend PA trainings you must bring your:

  • Photo ID (Driver’s License or State ID)
  • Social Security Card
  • Resume and three professional references
  • Certified Nursing Assistant Certificate (if applicable)

Important Information about the PA training program:

Nadia Dawson

PA Coordinator

(312) 640-2184

An RSVP is required to attend a PA training session. Please consult the events calendar to RSVP.

  • Our program is for training only
  • PAs are hired by people with disabilities themselves, meaning you’ll be employed by the person you’re hired to support, not by Access Living.
  • In many cases, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS/IDRS) serves as the fiscal agent, which means that they will pay you. Access Living is not responsible for payment or regulation of payment.
  • The State of Illinois pays personal assistants $17.25/hour, and CNAs $18.50/hour.

I’m a disabled person. How do I hire my own personal assistant?

Access Living keeps a database of certified personal assistants available to hire for people with disabilities to access. You tell us about your needs and what you’re looking for, and we’ll send resumes for you to review. After that, you choose which people you’d like to interview and hire.

Our coordinators can help you navigate any issues you might have with your personal assistant, such as communicating how you would like an activity performed, terminating their employment, and more.

To access the PA database, or to learn more, please contact a Personal Assistant Coordinator.