Capitol Correspondence - 09.15.17

2017 Senate DSP Resolution

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U.S. Senate Recognizes Direct Support Professionals with Resolution

S Res 258 Honors Frontline Workers Who Support People
with Disabilities and Encourages Better Data Collection

Alexandria, VA –The U.S. Senate, led by U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME), unanimously approved a resolution designating the week beginning September 10th as “National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week.” This year’s resolution marks a decade of recognition by the U.S. Senate for this essential workforce and calls for better data collection.

A Direct Support Professional (DSP) is a person who assists an individual with disabilities to lead a fulfilling life in the community through a diverse range of services, including but not limited to helping individuals get ready in the morning, take medication, go to or find work, or participate in social activities. DSPs are the backbone of publicly funded long-term supports and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Senate Resolution 258 recognizes DSPs for their commitment and also calls for the Bureau of Labor Statistics to collect more specific and accurate national data reflecting trends and changes in the DSP workforce.  This data is used to decide Medicaid rate structures in states and determine other important policy decisions.

The resolution was co-sponsored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Angus King (I-ME), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Edward Markey (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

“We are moved by the bipartisan support behind the Senate resolution and the recognition of the hard work that direct support professionals provide so that people with disabilities can live quality, independent lives,” said ANCOR CEO Barbara Merrill, “We are thrilled that the Senate is encouraging greater data collection of DSPs so that we can create real solutions to many of the challenges they face and ensure a strong DSP workforce for decades to come.”

Disability services providers across the country will mark the week by hosting celebrations to honor their Direct Support Professionals.

Spearheaded by ANCOR members, with partners including the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP), National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week is celebrated annually across the country with special events and ceremonies to honor the tens of thousands of workers who enable people with intellectual, developmental and other significant disabilities and their families to live healthy community-oriented lives. Read more about 2017 DSP Recognition Week here.

For more information, contact Esmé Grant Grewal, Senior Director of Government Relations, at (202) 579-7789 or [email protected].

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The American Network of Community Options and Resources is a national association representing more than 1,400 private providers of community living and employment supports and services to more than 800,000 individuals with disabilities with a workforce that’s over half a million strong. ANCOR advocates for the crucial role private providers play in enhancing and supporting the lives of people with disabilities and their families.

Through its National Advocacy Campaign, ANCOR seeks to obtain the resources to recruit, train and retain a sustainable direct support workforce. ANCOR provides organization, professional, leadership development and networking opportunities and services and is continually working toward partnerships and collaborations that support our mission, which is to advance the ability of our members in supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to fully participate in their communities.