Frontline Initiative DSP Recognition

Every day ways to recognize DSPs

Celebrating DSP Recognition Week is a great opportunity to honor DSPs and the tremendous difference we make. Here are some ideas of ways to celebrate every day —

  • Hold a staff appreciation lunch, barbeque or ice cream social.
  • Have executive and management staff work side-by-side a DSP for a day. Learn what they do and ask them questions about their work.
  • Recognize “Excellence in Direct Support Practice” and give examples and formal recognition of a DSP who helped someone “have a great life”.
  • Give a small, but meaningful and personalized gift.
  • Provide a heartfelt and simple “thank you” for the personal sacrifices that DSPs make on a regular basis.
  • Bring in dinner, lunch or break- fast for those who are working in your programs.
  • Drive-by and Drop Ins: Surprise the morning shift with a bag of bagels and a box of coffee, or some special refreshments and some festivities.
  • Create and distribute a DSP Week flyer/press release to raise awareness of the important contributions that DSPs have in the lives of people with disabilities.
  • Invite elected officials to your organization’s homes and let DSPs tell their stories to them.
  • Write a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper that de- scribes the complex and skilled work that your DSPs do every day.
  • Find ways that your organization’s culture can show that you trust DSPs - invite them to join committees, seek their input on strategic planning, use their expertise.
  • Seek out a local radio talk shows or news segments to showcase the skills of DSPs and the impact they have on positive outcomes for people with disabilities.
  • Help the people with disabilities who receive services to express their thanks by sponsoring celebrations, buying gift baskets and writing cards of appreciation.
  • Make sure that the families of those you support know that it’s DSP Recognition Week and ask them to get involved.

Adapted with permission from the NADSP E-flash (sent July 23, 2013)