Introduction... continued

The guidebook is made up of five chapters as follows: 

1. What’s it All About? – exploring the role of the personal assistant and setting it in context.
2. Making Sense of Disability – understanding disability in the context of equality and diversity and recognising the potential for disabled people to be discriminated against.
3. Protection from Abuse – sadly we have to be aware of the potential for abuse, as it is far more common than the general public normally realise.
4. Better Safe than Sorry: Health and Safety – keeping hazards to a minimum for you as an employee in someone’s home and for the person you support.
5. What Next? – carrying on learning and making sure your own support needs are not neglected.

Each chapter ends with some questions to help you think about what you have been learning and a short interactive quiz. The 'Pause for thought' exercises are intended to help you reflect on what you have seen and heard and think about how they apply to you and your circumstances, the quiz is here to help you to check your knowledge before you move on to the next section. 
At the very end of the course there are three additional pages; 'Your Rights at Work' provides additional advice about your rights as a worker, sources of support and information about UNISON, the trade union that has been involved in producing this guide, the 'Guide to further learninggives you a springboard for helping you to keep your learning going over time, and 'Pulling it all together' provides an overview of the whole resource at the very end.  

Why should I study it?
Well, let’s just consider for a moment what the benefits are that you will get from the time and effort you will need to put into working your way through it:
It should help you to have greater clarity about your role so that there is little or no confusion about what is expected of you. A lack of clarity can create misunderstandings and unnecessary tensions.
You should be in a position to provide the best possible care and support for the person you are assisting by having a good understanding of some key issues that will affect your work. It should also help to boost your confidence so that you can feel more comfortable in your work.
You will also be better equipped to avoid mistakes and pitfalls, and that, of course, will be of benefit to you and to the person you support.
And, finally, it will provide a good basis for you to carry on learning and get better and better at your job over time. 
And, of course, another reason for studying this guidebook is that you might actually find that you enjoy learning more about your important role and the helpful work you do.

What do I do now?
It will be helpful to have a pen and paper or notebook to hand so that you can make any notes you need as a reminder or jot down any ideas you have that you won't want to forget about. Then you should work out a suitable place where you will be able to study without being interrupted or distracted and where you will have internet access. Next you should think about when would be suitable times for you to do your studying. You won’t need to do it all in one go; don’t try and squeeze too much in at any one time and risk overloading yourself.
Then, when you have got all this sorted, make a start on the first chapter when you are ready.
Just one last point before you get started: everything you will learn about here reflects the law in Wales as set down by the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. You won't be expected to be a legal expert, of course, but it is important that you are aware of the legal basis of your work.

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