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Customer Directed Assistant

Consumer-Directed Assistant Directory

This Directory provides employment opportunities for individuals who would like to work as a Consumer-Directed Assistant, supporting a person with a disability to live independently in the community.

A Consumer-Directed Assistant is a person who assists an individual with a disability with activities of daily living- such as bathing, toileting, dressing, and grooming.  An Assistant also helps with routine tasks such as cooking, housework, errands, and shopping; and with recreation and socialization.  An Assistant provides support for the person with a disability at home, at work, in social events in the community, and when travelling for vacation or employment, empowering their employer to be able to live a very active and independent lifestyle. The type of assistance needed will vary based on the type of disability your employer has, and the age, lifestyle and interests of your employer. Your employer is the “Consumer”, and they “Direct” the services and supports they need to live independently.

An individual with a disability may not be able to do certain tasks due to their disability, so they choose to have assistance.  With this assistance the individual with a disability can work, attend school, live in their own home or apartment, pursue hobbies, socialize and be an active community member. You will have the opportunity to work and provide support for individuals with disabilities across various life stages, from childhood to adult life including education, careers and volunteering, dating, marrying, raising a family, to those in their senior years. You can be an integral part of assisting individuals with disabilities to maintain their independence and autonomy over their own lives and to pursue all the life goals and opportunities they choose.

How do I determine if this is the right option for me?

There are many benefits to becoming a Consumer-Directed Assistant.  One of the main reasons people like to do this kind of work is because of the flexible schedules.  If you have another job, are going to school part-time or just want to work certain hours, you may be able to connect with someone who needs assistance during those very times. The experience of working as an Assistant will also provide valuable awareness and training about people with disabilities, independent living and equal rights that can be a stepping stone toward a career in healthcare, human service, or customer service fields.

On-the-Job Training

In most circumstances, the person with the disability will be your employer and will provide you the training on their needs, routines, and type of assistance needed.  If there is assistive technology or other equipment that is used, such as a hoyer lift, wheelchair, or communication device, your employer will show you how these work.  You will be interviewed, hired, trained, and supervised by your employer, the person with a disability you work directly for.

The Role of the Directory

By inputting your contact information, skills, job goals and availability into this Directory, you will be able to connect with individuals with disabilities who are looking for Assistants to hire. This is a website similar to other employment websites, except that the Directory is solely for finding employment as a Consumer-Directed Assistant. Through this website, you can seek employment as an Assistant to provide ongoing personal care services, respite (assisting a person with a disability as back-up to their families or primary caregiver), and companion services (assisting with social activities and routine tasks such as shopping, laundry and meal preparation).  To use this Directory, complete the online user registration under “Provider Login” to input your information as a “Provider” of Consumer-Directed Assistant services.  Persons with disabilities will use the search features in the Directory to review your information, and that of other applicants, to identify potential applicants to interview to work for them as their Assistant.  There is not a fee to use this website.

Key Points

Consumer-Directed Assistants provide the support needed by a person with a disability.

The person with a disability will be your employer. They will conduct the interviews, complete background checks and make the hiring decision. They will be your trainer and supervisor. They will approve your timesheets. They do your evaluations and make decisions about your ongoing employment. This gives you an excellent opportunity to develop a good working relationship with your employer.

If the person with a disability is unable to perform the functions as your employer, they may have a family member or other representative act in their place as your employer.

You will not work for a company. You will work for the person with a disability.

Being listed on the Directory allows you to provide your information so that employers (people with disabilities) can see what your experience is and what type of supports you could provide.

Most people with disabilities who use the Directory have their supports paid by Medicaid. The rate of pay from Medicaid for Consumer-Directed Assistants is $8.86 in most areas of Virginia and $11.47 in northern Virginia. You may not charge or accept a rate higher than these rates if your wages are paid by Medicaid.

For More Information Check Out Our Presentation – Click Here to View

How Do I Add My Information to the Directory?

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For Questions about Working as a Consumer-Directed Assistant

If you have further questions about your role as a Consumer-Directed Assistant or independent living for persons with disabilities, you can contact your local CIL (Center for Independent Living).  CILs are nonprofit, empowerment and advocacy organizations supporting independent living opportunities and equality for persons with disabilities.  To find the CIL closest to you, click on the “CILS in Virginia” list at or Contact Maureen Hollowell at

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