Frontline Initiative Legislative Advocacy

Alliance Update:
The Code of Ethics is Launched


Mark Olson is co-chair of the NADSP.

The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) celebrated the release of the NADSP Code of Ethics at its semiannual “face to face” meeting in Anaheim, California. We would like to thank Alliance members, TASH, (What a great conference!), and ANCOR for providing us with meeting space and the other amenities that made our time in Anaheim both enjoyable and productive.

The Code of Ethics is an excellent product that must quickly get into the hands of those providing supports. It is just one of the Alliance’s efforts to enhance the status of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). In fact, while pursuing the development of an ethical standard, we have also been collaborating with the U.S. Department of Labor to make direct support an apprenticeable occupation. What is this going to do for us in the future? That is a question Alliance members asked themselves when the first draft of an apprenticeship program proposal was presented by our friends at the Department of Labor in the great State of Missouri. It was exciting to us that the Department of Labor sees the work we do to support people in achieving their life goals as an occupational requiring recognition. With that occupational recognition comes the expectation that practitioners have skills, standards, and ethics, which is what the NADSP is all about. So when we were asked to review this initial proposal we made sure these components were a part of the final product. Through both classroom curriculum and on-the-job training we hope that the apprenticeship program leads the DSP towards the mastery of the skills needed to provide the best support possible. It is my pleasure to announce that the U. S. Department of Labor has approved the NADSP and now recognizes direct support as an apprenticeable occupation.

To the NADSP, its state contacts, and DSPs throughout the country, this means that we can begin discussions with each State’s Department of Labor about the development of a support system to make apprenticeships happen.