County announces available services for those with disabilities

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. and the Essex County Office of the Disabled announced that funding is available to help disabled consumers maintain their independence through the Personal Assistant Services Program. PASP is a consumer-directed program geared toward enhancing independence, flexibility and choice among people with disabilities in need of assistant services, while promoting maximum independence and full participation within all aspects of community life.

“Obtaining information about supportive services does not have to be a difficult and overwhelming process. Our Office of the Disabled enables individuals to gain access to information and referrals for services in one central location,” DiVincenzo said. “We want to do everything we can to help residents with disabilities in Essex County maintain their independence and quality of life and the Personal Assistant Services Program is one way we are able to connect them with the support they need.”

The mission of PASP is to assist eligible disabled adults between the ages of 18 and 70 with permanent physical disabilities, who are employed, attending school or involved in community volunteer work. The total number of hours a person can receive is determined based on individual need, up to a maximum of 40 hours per week. A distinction between PASP and other personal assistance programs in New Jersey is that PASP requires self-direction, meaning the individual with the disability must direct their own services.

The Essex County Division of Community Health Services is an umbrella agency that oversees the administration and management of grants made available for community health purposes. The division’s mission is to develop and maintain a comprehensive, integrated network of services that address the needs of Essex County residents, to provide services that enrich and/or strengthen the quality of life through programs that promote social inclusion, and to expand and diversify the delivery of services to satisfy the health-related needs of the population.

The Office of the Disabled is a section of the Essex County Division of Community Health Services, which provides information and referrals, related to many areas of concern for persons with disabilities and provides individuals with resources in response to their specific, expressed needs. For more information, call the Office for the Disabled at 973-395-8494.