NADSP Public Policy Committee Update


Kelly Friedlander, MSW, MPA is the chair of the Public Policy Committee at the NADSP. She is a partner at Community Bridges Consulting Group . She can be reached at

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Last spring, the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) restarted its Public Policy Committee. Our goal was to advocate for public policy that affects Direct Support Professionals (DSPs).

The Public Policy Committee will focus on two objectives. The first is engaging in national public policy discussions with ally organizations. NADSP has recently joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD). CCD is the largest coalition of national disability organizations. It has 110 members working together to advocate for federal public policy that ensures the self-determination, independence, empowerment, integration, and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society. "We are excited to join the CCD. We look forward to actively engaging with their Long-Term Services and Supports Task Force," says Kelly Friedlander, Chair of the NADSP Public Policy Committee. "We are in a unique political time when various disability organizations are working in concert in more focused and effective ways. NADSP is excited to be part of that effort."

NADSP attended and co-sponsored the National Association of Community Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors (NACBHDD) Annual Legislative and Policy Conference and Capitol Hill briefing in Washington, DC in March. "Services are delivered locally. NADSP is interested in engaging with and building relationships with county and local behavioral health and developmental disability authorities," says Joseph Macbeth, NADSP Executive Director.

The second objective of The Public Policy Committee is to contribute to and spread important findings and information about DSPs. In addition to legislative updates, NADSP recently assisted the University of Minnesota’s Research and Training Center on Community Living in preparing the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) 2017 Report, America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis: Effects on People with Intellectual Disabilities, Families, Communities and the U.S. Economy. We were especially proud to highlight the work from some of our certified DSPs and stories from families and individuals who receive direct support services with whom we are honored to collaborate. The report also shares NADSP’s National Competency Areas and Code of Ethics.

Fueled by our recent accomplishments, the NADSP Public Policy Committee will continue work shaping policy to reflect our vision of highly-qualified and ethically-motivated DSPs who partner with, support, and empower people with disabilities to lead a life of their choosing.

NADSP is looking for DSPs to join our Public Policy Committee! If you are interested, please e-mail Kelly Friedlander at