Frontline Initiative Workforce Development

Frontline Notes

Dear Readers,

Moving forward sometimes means looking back. In this issue of Frontline Initiative we will look both we will look both backwards and forwards.

First, we look back to the historical Alliance for Full Participation (AFP) Summit held in Washington, DC, September 22–23, 2005. AFP stands as a turning point in history and its impact will be felt long into the future. At AFP, Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), self-advocates, family members, support providers, exhibitors, and others came together to speak about important issues. You can read what people said about their experiences at AFP on pages 8, 13, and 16. These stories may inspire you to find out what is happening in your own state to further the Summit’s theme — Many Voices, One Vision.

Another important event in 2005 was the finalization of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) incorporation as a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization. This allows NADSP to become a tax-exempt membership organization. Our lead story encourages readers to become members and to get involved regionally to support NADSP’s mission.

As we look forward, both AFP and NADSP recognize that one of the major roadblocks to full inclusion and participation for people with disabilities is the availability of caring and competent DSPs. Both AFP and NADSP support and encourage national efforts that help employers find, train, and keep high quality DSPs. These efforts are known as DSP Workforce Development. In this issue you will find articles about some of these efforts to help community human service agencies, individuals, and family employers find and keep good DSPs. We hope you find this issue of FI helpful and informative.