There is a very special week in September that we at the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities like to celebrate. The week is Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week and was celebrated the 10th – 16th this month.
You may be wondering what a Direct Support Professional (DSP) is and why that role is so special. DSPs work directly with people with disabilities to provide care and support to assist people to live more independently. You can find DSPs in homes and apartments or out and about in the community assisting people with a variety of daily tasks, like grocery shopping or banking. DSPs may also work in programs that provide day or vocational support to people with developmental disabilities.
DSPs can work as independent contractors with the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities or they can work with one of the provider agencies located in our area. SCBDD works directly with both the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and our local provider agencies to support DSPs and the people they serve.
Without our DSPs, people with disabilities would have less choices for their living situations. In 2024, after much advocacy, the rate that DSPs will be paid is going up by as much as 38%. This is a great opportunity to attract more people to the field and to reward the dedicated DSPs in our area for their hard work.
In Shelby County, we wanted to recognize our DSPs with some family fun. We rented Vandemark Farm on Sept. 11 and invited all DSPs, agency and independent, to bring their families for some free food and fun. It turned out to be a great evening with over 190 people in attendance.
If you or someone you know wants to learn more about how to become a DSP, the SCBDD can help with that. We have a dedicated Provider Support Coordinator who can assist with the certification process, from start to finish. Please call us at 937-497-8155 and ask for Amy Hubbard.
If you would like to learn more about SCBDD and other services we provide, please visit our website at www.shelbydd.org and make sure to follow us on social media.
The writer is the superintendent of the Shelby County Board of Developmental Disabilities.