Frontline Initiative DSP Recognition

The Real Scoop

Welcome to The Real Scoop. Clifford is a self-advocate who has been politically active for years. He’s here to give you his spin on how to deal with issues you face as you forge ahead in your role as a Direct Support Professional (DSP). Seth has worked in the field of Direct Support. Clifford and Seth tackle this one with a few suggestions.

Dear Cliff and Seth,

I How do I find ways to recognize DSPs? How would I find out about what kinds of recognition opportunities are available at the local, state or even national level?

Signed, Derek, Job Coach/Direct Support Professional


Dear Need to See a Change,

First, of course, be sure to read up on this issue of Frontline Initiative. Second, check with your employer’s human resources representative, check with your local council person, and finally check with your local chapter of the Arc. Third, use Google (or other search engine) to check on recognition for DSPs. When I did a Google search, I found nearly 2 million opportunities regarding recognition for DSPs through both government and private entities.




Dear Need to See a Change,

My first recommendation is to go to and check out NADSP’s credentialing program – this is a great first step. You can also contact your state chapter of NADSP in order to get some more information and local help. I would also check out for Moving Mountains winners – if any past winners have been in your state, they would be a great resource on recognition. Finally, many state self-advocacy and other conferences give out awards for outstanding DSPs. Contact your local self-advocacy groups and the Arc to see if there are any awards in your state.