Frontline Initiative Workforce Development

Together, We can Make a Difference:
Join the NADSP

In early 2005, the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) was incorporated as a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization. The completion of this process mobilizes everyone who believes in the mission and goals of NADSP and wants to be a part of the movement toward a professionally trained and fairly compensated direct support workforce. As part of this effort, we are asking you, our FI readers, to become charter members of readers, to become charter members of NADSP.

How do I join?

It’s easy to join NADSP! Just fill out the membership form (see page 5) and submit it along with a check or money order payable to NADSP. Your membership fee is based on the type of work you do and your connection to DSPs. Why are there different membership categories? NADSP is committed to having as leaders the people we support and those who assist them most closely in achieving their life goals. The membership categories let us know who is a self-advocate, a DSP, a family member, and/or other professional and how best to include them in our work. Other professionals are asked to pay a little bit more for memberships because they generally have more resources. NADSP also gives these professionals the opportunity to mentor and support our leadership by sharing their experience and talents. This helps to give our leaders a strong knowledge and skill base.

Should agencies and providers be allies?

NADSP definitely wants provider organizations as allies! We offer opportunities for agencies, providers, and other organizations to support our mission. It does not stop with sending us a check to become an agency affiliate or a supporting organization — there is so much more agencies can do to support our effort. Most of all, we ask that in addition to writing a check, that these organizations encourage individual DSPs to get involved and become better trained professionals who use their collective voice to make change happen. NADSP does not work in a vacuum; we know that we need to collaborate with our allies to reach our goals.

How can I make a difference locally?

NADSP is excited to have many state and local contacts and affiliates supporting its mission. Being grassroots focused, NADSP asks affiliates to align with our mission and goals but gives the state entities the right to decide which goals to focus on. We have 30 contacts working in 21 states, all in various stages of organizing. Check out our Web site,, to see what your next local step could be. If there is not a contact listed for your state, call us to see if we have any updates or if we can support you in getting some of your direct support colleagues together to begin the process of affiliation. In every state, the leadership for NADSP chapters and affiliates arose from dedicated people. NADSP will be there to help you make it happen in your community as well.

So what do I get for my NADSP membership?

A lot! Besides the personal satisfaction of being a part of the organization and supporting the mission, all individual members receive a membership card, Code of Ethics card, and a one-year subscription to Frontline Initiative, the official publication of NADSP. FI is written for, by, and about is written for, by, and about DSPs. You also become part of a network of committed individuals and groups working to make self-directed lives a reality for the people we support and professionalism a reality for the direct support workforce.

Agency affiliates and supporting organizations get certificates of membership and two or four subscriptions respectively. They are also recognized in each issue of FI and on our Web site.