Direct-support professionals are the individuals who work directly with individuals with disabilities. Without doubt, their jobs require not only patience and hard work, but also empathy and a willingness to accept people for who they are. With their assistance and guidance, they enable people with physical and/or intellectual disabilities live in the least-restrictive environment, with as much independence as possible, along with the opportunity to integrate with the community.
For the eighth consecutive year, the U.S. Senate has recognized National Direct Support Professionals Week. For 2015, This recognition falls on the week of September 13 through September 19. Led by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME), the bipartisan bill passed with unanimous support. This recognition is the primary objective of the ANCOR (The American Network of Community Options Resources) National Advocacy Campaign. According to ANCOR, more than 1 million individuals with all disabilities rely on direct-support professionals.
“Today, we have the opportunity to recognize the millions of direct support professionals who provide essential services to individuals with disabilities, to thank them for their commitment and dedication, and to express our appreciation for the critically important work they do every day throughout our country,” said Senator Cardin. “Each Direct Support Professional brings us closer as a nation to achieving the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act of full community participation for individuals with disabilities. These dedicated professionals work tirelessly every day of the year providing skilled and compassionate supports to individuals with disabilities,” added Senator Collins.
The CQL (The Council on Quality and Leadership) and NADSP (The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals), two professional accreditation agencies that set standards for these employees, urge individuals to show appreciation for the direct-support individuals in their lives.