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Senate Approves DSP Week Resolution

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Senate Approves DSP Week Resolution

Friday, August 2, 2013

ANCOR is pleased to announce that on July 31, led by U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME), the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution designating the week beginning September 8 as “National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week.” This year’s resolution marks the sixth consecutive year of recognition by the U.S. Senate for this essential workforce.

Senate Resolution 208 recognizes Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) for their commitment to supporting individuals and promoting community-inclusion for individuals with disabilities of all ages. The resolution was also co-sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Chris Murphy (D-CT).

“Families across America depend on the hard work of Direct Support Professionals who provide an invaluable service to millions living with disabilities, seniors, and people with chronic conditions. I am proud to honor these men and women who do so much to improve their clients’ quality of life and keep community bonds strong,” said Senator Cardin.

“Direct support professionals work tirelessly every day of the year administering skilled and compassionate care to seniors and individuals with disabilities,” Senator Collins said.  “I commend the important work carried out by direct support professionals that allows these individuals to stay connected with their community and their families, and I am pleased to have supported a resolution honoring all that these professionals do to help those in their care live meaningful and productive lives.”

This acknowledgment by the Senate is significant to ANCOR’s National Advocacy Campaign, whose mission it is to enhance the lives of all people with disabilities who rely on long-term supports and services by obtaining the resources to recruit, train and retain a highly qualified and sustainable workforce.

“We’re thrilled to have the U.S. Senate’s support and recognition for the hard work Direct Support Professionals do,” said ANCOR CEO Renee Pietrangelo. “The DSP workforce is critical to providing supports and services, and they deserve our respect and recognition. Our hats are off to Senators Cardin and Collins for their longstanding support for Direct Support Professionals.”

"The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals is proud to join ANCOR in sponsoring National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week and thank Senators Collins and Cardin for recognizing the importance of this important workforce,” said Joe Macbeth, Executive Director of NADSP. “We look forward to making this year's recognition the best ever and want to make sure that every Direct Support Professional receives their due recognition."

“Quality services and supports for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities depend upon a stable, professional direct support workforce,“ said Nancy Thaler, Executive Director of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disability Services. “Dedicated and skilled Direct Support Professionals support people to develop and maintain critical skills that enable people to live, work and play in the communities of their choice. That is why NASDDDS’s National Core Indicators tracks state level statistics pertinent to recruitment and retention of this essential workforce.”

Spearheaded by ANCOR members, with partners including the National Association of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) and the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services (NASDDDS), National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week is celebrated annually across the country with special events and ceremonies earmarked 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 2013 DSP Recognition Week here.