Frontline Initiative Diversity

Frontline Notes

Since the 1990s, diversity has been a hot topic and the discussion will continue well into the new millennium. For Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), knowledge of diversity issues is becoming a critical component of providing respectful and individualized quality supports to people with disabilities. For organizations that provide community services, there will be an increasing emphasis on helping their employees and supervisors work effectively as a team in a diverse environment.

The articles in this issue of Frontline Initiative intend to share personal experiences and offer varied perspectives related to working for and with people from different backgrounds. What is it like for a new immigrant to begin a career as a DSP? What does a consumer from outside of the dominant culture want from a community service agency? What can DSPs and organizations do to create a culturally sensitive and welcoming workplace? We hope that by reading this issue, you will find some helpful ideas or at least recognize the importance of exploring these questions. Our next issue will focus on credentialing of DSPs. It will feature articles regarding various types of credentialing and certification processes around the country and how they affect the roles and status of DSPs. If you know of something exciting going on at your agency or in your state related to credentialing, we’d love to hear from you.