Frontline Initiative DSP Recognition

Frontline Notes

Welcome to the DSP Recognition Issue of Frontline Initiative. This issue celebrates Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) in connection with the sixth consecutive National DSP Recognition Week, starting September 8, 2013. The U.S. Senate has designated this week, where special events and ceremonies are earmarked to honor us. As Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) stated:

“Families across America depend on the hard work of DSPs who provide an invaluable service to millions living with disabilities, seniors, and people with chronic conditions. I am proud to honor these men and women who do so much to improve their clients’ quality of life and keep community bonds strong.”

On June 11, 2013 the NADSP board of directors elected a new slate of officers to lead the organization. The officers will continue the mission to enhance quality of supports for people with dis- abilities by working to elevate the status of DSPs, promote systems reform, and advance our knowledge, skills, and values in the field. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Carol Britton Laws as our President of NADSP. In the cover story, Carol describes her personal journey in direct support. Learn why she is a great leader and driven to discover ways to support all DSPs.

At this year’s American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) conference, 45 DSPs of the Year were honored as state award recipients. These DSPs were publicly recognized for their provision of excellent sup- ports. Each winner is highlighted in the ANCOR LINKS newsletter. In this issue, you’ll find inter- views with several of these skillful and deserving DSPs, thanks to our thoughtful and dedicated Editorial Board members.

Part of recognizing the DSP workforce is providing education and training to further careersand improve supports to people with disabilities. Learn how you can become a part of this growing movement. Check out information on the NADSP credentialing program and special discounts offered in the month of September! Read on about the Moving Mountains Award; and join us in congratulating the Anderson Center for Autism. Learn how this model organization has improved the competence, status, compensation, and stability of DSPs.

We encourage you to think about what recognition means to you. In this issue you can explore some creative and fun ways that organizations have successfully used to start a recognition pro- gram with and for DSPs. You can find a list of ideas to recognize DSPs every day. Be inspired to recognize your colleagues, make changes in your organization, and advocate for policies or legislation to promote the DSP workforce.

Congratulations to all DSPs – for the hard work you do and all that you bring to your community by supporting people with disabilities! Let us all recognize our own value and those we support.