Frontline Initiative Changing Roles

Alliance Update


Cliff Poetz is co-chair of NADSP steering committee and a self-advocate

The NADSP is receiving an overwhelmingly positive response to the National Code of Ethics. We are working as fast as possible to meet the requests and letters of interest that we are receiving from all over the nation. We are also discussing possible supplementary curriculum to go along with the National Code of Ethics, such as a workbook. We will keep readers posted as to the developments of new curriculum.

Another exciting accomplishment has been the creation of a new American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR) division for DSPs. NADSP worked to gather support for the new division with AAMR. This is a large step towards creating an atmosphere within AAMR where DSPs can feel welcome, respected, and comfortable enough to express their concerns.

We are now working with the federal Department of Labor (DOL) on the development and implementation of a national DSP apprenticeship program. This program should be open to all DSPs who currently work in community supports to people with disabilities or anyone taking DSP classes. In the apprenticeship program, DSPs would be required to work a certain number of hours in the field and complete educational training designed to develop the competencies outlines in the Community Support Skills Standards before receiving the DOL certification of completion. The NADSP is thrilled that this apprenticeship program was approved by the federal DOL. We are certainly hoping that this newly approved program will give us the ability to say on a national level that DSPs are respected members of the community and that they have credentials like other professionals. The apprenticeship program will offer flexibility at the state level to develop and implement effective credentialing programs that are customized to the needs of that state.

We are also exploring ways to increase the number of NADSP state representatives and coalitions. This will allow for more states to engage in state-level coalitions to improve DSPs quality of life and the lives of the people that we support.