S:US Celebrates Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week
DSP-WeekThis week, S:US joins other organizations in celebrating Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week, which recognizes excellence and promotes awareness of the importance of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). Like S:US, many service providers understand that quality of care for people with developmental disabilities is defined by their interaction with DSPs who help them develop skills for independent living.
S:US’ DSPs help the 750 individuals with intellectual disabilities served by S:US live up to their fullest potential by creating opportunities for meaningful relationships, full integration into their community and personal growth. As a leading provider of residential and support services to individuals with developmental disabilities, S:US offers a full spectrum of housing, wellness, and supportive services—and DSPs are essential to this effort.
“It feels good to know we are making a difference,” says Chris Gutierrez, Program Specialist at S:US’ Hillburn residence. “We try to make individuals’ lives as normal as our own because they are no less of a person than anyone else.”
It is DSPs like Chris that help drive the mission of S:US to create pathways for individuals to lead rich and productive lives. Chris has been a DSP for three and a half years, during which he has supported individuals’ life skills development, employment readiness, health and wellness, socialization and clinical supports, tailoring these services to each individual’s needs.
Ask Chris, however, and he’ll also tell you the frustrations related to the DSP profession, including the lack of recognition DSPs receive from the public. Often people in the community don’t realize how much work and commitment is required of DSPs to care for individuals with developmental disabilities. Moreover, the public often undervalues the contributions to society made by individuals served by DSPs. Like S:US, Chris looks forward to the day when this stigma no longer exists.
To honor the invaluable role S:US’ direct support staff play in the lives of the individuals with whom they work, S:US hopes families, neighbors and friends recognize the dedication and accomplishments of outstanding DSPs and the tremendous difference they make each day in the lives of millions of Americans with disabilities.
To learn more about S:US’ Developmental Disabilities Services, please visit http://sus.org/get-informed/developmental-disabilites/.
For a first hand look at the contributions made by direct support professionals, visit www.directsupportprofessional.org