Self-determined living through personal assistance.
WAG Assistenzgenossenschaft supports people with disabilities to organize personal assistance. This means we are a non-profit cooperative that employs personal assistants and provides comprehensive counseling for all questions regarding personal assistance. You determine who, when, and how you will be supported.
Our goal is to enable as many disabled persons as possible to live a self-determined life. Personal assistance is the key.
WAG calls for everyone to be able to have a viable life.
WAG is a representative for people with disability who want to live with personal assistance. Thus we advocate that access for personal assistance be regulated consistently in all of Austria.
All disabled people should be provided with as much financial support as they need to pay for as much assistance as they need. No matter what disability a person has, and no matter how much money someone makes, they should be provided with enough to pay for the assistance they need. Only with a legal right for personal assistance are disabled citizens afforded the same chance for equal participation in society.
This right needs to be included in the U.N. Convention for humans with disabilities.
Information, counseling, and support.
The WAG offers their customers information, counseling, and support for all questions regarding personal assistance:
- How much assistance do I need?
- How do I work out a schedule?
- How can I finance my personal assistant?
These are only a few questions we are happy to answer. The WAG supports you in finding a suitable personal assistant (PA) and takes on time-intensive duties like payroll and social security. We help you to organize substitute assistance, you overcome misunderstandings or conflicts, and are on hand for help and advice.
WAG will handle the employment of persons hired as personal assistants. This includes registration for a social-security contract of employment and every other organizational regulation regarding proper employment.
Counseling and Offices are barrier free.
The WAG has designed their counseling offices as barrier free as possible. Our offices in Vienna and St. Poelten have barrier-free access. Disabled parking spaces are available. The doors are equipped with automatic door openers. The barrier-free entrance in Vienna is in Döblerhofstr. 9.
In both offices there are barrier-free toilets, [and also bed toileting availability.] In Vienna there is also a mechanical lift.
If you require someone to pick you up from public transportation, we ask you to inform us in advance.
The WAG provides seminars to their customers in order to advance their knowledge and abilities, enabling them to live a self-determined life with personal assistance.
They also offer basic knowledge workshops and first-aid courses.
From Peer to Peer
The WAG employs a peer-counseling method, meaning people with disabilities counsel people with disabilities. This form of counseling is an important principle for the self-determined life movement. The work of the WAG builds on this principle.
Only people with disabilities provide leadership and counseling. Furthermore, an important demand of the self-determined movement is empowerment. People with disability should not have to beg. They should know and recognize their rights and possibilities. The WAG wants to encourage people with handicaps to take their life into their own hands and vigorously live following their own ideas.
Once a month the WAG organizes a peer-group meeting. There our clients have the opportunity to share their experiences, problems, and adventures with each other.
We wish for a world in which disabled people can determine their entire lives themselves. We are a part of the self-determined living movement and want people with disabilities to have the opportunity to receive all necessary resources to lead their lives they way they want according to their needs and vision.
Basic Principles for our Activities
Nothing about us without us. We organize, act for, and represent ourselves.
We organize personal assistance only in accordance with the self-determined living movement.
Disabled people counsel disabled people.
We offer classes for disabled people to empower them in their role as employers and enable them to actively pursue their rights.
We pay attention to the individuality of all humans and their unique life situations, needs, and perspectives.
Representation of Interests
We see personal assistance as a human right. We advocate for personal assistance as a legal right and pursue consistent nationwide implementation based on need, income, and assets. It doesn’t matter what kind of disability a person has; he or she should have the assistance they need.
Deinstitutionalization and Inclusion
The WAG supports people with disabilities in their pursuit to live in their own domicile with personal assistance and to participate in society.
Self-Determination, Self-Administrattiona, and Self-Responsibility
The WAG is organized as a charitable cooperative association with members of the Austrian Cooperative Association Network. The founders of the WAG determined in 2002 to organize in this form so that personal assistance can be organized through a self- designed in a self-determined approach.
History of Success
In 2002 eleven men and women with disabilities united to organize their lives with personal assistance so they would not have to live in care centers. This model found approval. Many people had and have this desire to self determine their everyday living with personal assistance and enjoy the possibilities of participating in work/life. Therefore, the WAG continually expands their programs. In 2006 WAG opened a new facility in St. Polten. In 2013, the WAG also improved its counseling support. It created a counseling position at Burgenland dedicated solely to providing counseling hours for Burgenland clients.