Frontline Initiative Direct Support Professionals

Alliance Update

Hey! My name is Don Carrick and I’m a member of Direct Support Professionals of Missouri (DSPM). DSPM joined NADSP in 1999 as state affiliate for the “Show-Me State.” What is a state affiliate? and what do they do? Well, funny you should ask…

State Affiliates are direct support advocacy groups or individuals interested in direct support issues. They provide NADSP with information on what’s important to DSPs in their states. Without this network of state affiliates, the organization becomes too insular and our momentum stops. Fresh ideas, insights, and grassroots knowledge are important to a growing, progressive organization like NADSP.

The relationship among NADSP and its affiliates is symbiotic. While NADSP relies on the information and guidance from affiliates; affiliates also take away new ideas and strategies they can use in their home states to continue advocating for direct support issues. I know that I have always walked away from NADSP meetings and conference calls energized and fi lled with new ideas we can use in our state.

Having been involved in NADSP for the past six years, I can see the great importance of state affiliates to the future of NADSP. While I may be able to speak for what’s going on here in Missouri, I don’t know what’s important to DSPs in New Jersey, Oregon, or Texas. It’s important for NADSP to have affiliates from all states. Please, look at the contacts on page 4. If there’s already an affiliate in your state, contact them to see how you can get involved. 

AADMD Policy Paper

Given DSPs’ importance in the lives of people with disabilities, we think it’s important to share the following policy statement from the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMA).

Caring for the Patient with a Neurodevelopmental Disorder: The Value of the Direct Support Professional

The AADMD recognizes and promotes the collaborative nature of comprehensive health care for citizens with neurodevelopmental disorders and intellectual disabilities. The AADMD recognizes and promotes the role and contribution of Direct Support Professionals in the delivery of continuous, culturally competent, and coordinated health care for citizens with neurodevelopmental disorders and intellectual disabilities. The AADMD recognizes the role and contribution of the Direct Support Professional in the following domains: Assistance in providing relevant and accurate medical histories, allergies, treatment outcomes, and other pertinent bio-psychosocial health care experiences to physicians and dentists.

  • Compliance and adherence assistance to prescribed and recommended treatment regimens and lifestyles
  • Health promotion and disease prevention
  • Recognition and reporting of changes in demeanor and displeasure
  • Sharing of emerging stressors (staffing, jobs, living, relationships)
  • Knowledge of the individual over time in a variety of settings and situations
  • Providing the individual with healthy lifestyle choices and opportunities • Supporting the individual in an environment and fashion that promotes the richness and fullness of life 

AADMD Pledges —

  • To assist the DSP with the best practices to communicate health-related issues to physicians, dentists, and allied health professionals.
  • To value, regard, and consider health related insights, observations, and experiences from DSPs regarding their clients.
  • To support and promote Direct Support Professionals in enhancing their societal recognition, professional development, and appropriate economic security
  • To recognize the profession of Direct Support with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities rightfully and appropriately deserved.