Celebrate National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week
5 September 2008
In July, the US Senate officially designated the week of September 7, 2008 as National Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Recognition Week. Introduced by Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska and passed by unanimous consent, the resolution (S. Res. 613) acknowledges the important work DSPs do each and every day to provide quality of life-enhancing services and supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“Without a workforce of dedicated Direct Support Professionals, organizations such as ours would be unable to provide community-based supports and services to individuals with disabilities,” said Ned Murphy, President and Chief Executive Officer of The MENTOR Network. “We are pleased to have an opportunity to publicly thank these folks for the important work they do enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities every day.”
During National DSP Recognition Week, representatives from The Network will participate in the Governmental Activities Seminar and “DSPs to DC” events hosted by ANCOR (American Network of Community Options and Resources). DSPs from California, Indiana, Maryland, North Dakota and Wisconsin will represent The Network and advocate for the passage of House Resolution (H.R.) 1279, the Direct Support Fairness and Security Act. The bill aims to reduce staff turnover and promote continuity of care and high-quality supports in the direct service industry by allowing states to access additional federal funding for Direct Support Professionals. Nearly a year after being filed, H.R. 1279 continues to gain momentum, and The Network hopes to promote further awareness through participation in ANCOR’s DSP to DC event.
According to ANCOR, there are approximately 1.4 million individuals who require professional support in order to live and work in their own communities and only 875,000 direct support workers.
“DSPs provide the backbone of our services and are an integral part of sustaining community-based care for millions of individuals and families,” added Murphy. “On behalf of everyone at The Network, I would like to thank all Direct Support Professionals for their remarkable contributions to the individuals we all serve.”