Capitol Correspondence - 09.14.18

ANCOR Applauds U.S. Senate for Recognizing Direct Support Professionals

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ANCOR Applauds U.S. Senate for Recognizing Direct Support Professionals

Resolution marks capstone to Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, raising awareness about a direct support workforce in crisis

WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced S.Res. 625, a resolution officially designating this week as National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week.

ANCOR—a nonprofit trade association representing more than 1,400 private providers of services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD)—applauds the bipartisan resolution and is grateful for the efforts of the resolution’s sponsors and co-sponsors. To date, 14 Senators representing both major parties have signed onto the Cardin-Collins resolution. Together, these Senators are leading the way by raising awareness nationally about the important role Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) play in the lives of individuals with I/DD.

“Direct Support Professionals play an essential role in our communities by providing those in need with critical support that leads to more independent living and a better quality of life,” said Senator Collins, Chair of the Senate Aging Committee. “Our bipartisan resolution ensures that these professionals receive the recognition they deserve. I thank all DSPs for their hard work and dedication.”

Beyond thanking DSPs for the outsized contributions they make to our communities, S.Res. 625 is also critical in bringing attention to the wide array of challenges facing the direct support workforce. According to a 2017 report from ANCOR, the national turnover rate within the DSP workforce is 45 percent, despite the fact that, as U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data reveal, this workforce is on track for a growth rate double that of the workforce as a whole between now and 2024. High turnover despite growing demand results from the myriad ways in which federal and state policies prevent I/DD service providers from adequately investing in the DSP workforce.

For more than a decade, ANCOR has led annual DSP Recognition Week campaigns to call national attention to these issues. “DSP Recognition Week has always been critical to ANCOR and to the dozens of national disability advocacy groups with which we partner because the DSP workforce crisis is the most significant barrier facing community providers in their quest to support people with I/DD,” said Barbara Merrill, CEO of ANCOR. “That’s why we’re incredibly grateful to Senator Cardin, Senator Collins and all of their colleagues who have supported this resolution—their efforts will raise the conversation inside the Beltway and on Capitol Hill about the value of our DSPs.”

DSP Recognition Week officially concludes on Saturday, but the resources developed for ANCOR’s 2018 campaign can be used to show appreciation for DSPs throughout the year. To learn more, visit ANCOR’s DSP Recognition Week 2018 website.


For nearly 50 years, the American Network of Community Options and Resources ( has been a leading advocate for the critical role service providers play in enriching the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). As a national nonprofit trade association, ANCOR represents 1,400+ organizations employing more than a half-million professionals who together serve more than a million individuals with I/DD. Our mission is to advance the ability of our members to support people with I/DD to fully participate in their communities.