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Direct Support Professional Recognition Week 2020 Statement

Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week (September 13-19, 2020) is an amazing opportunity to feature the committed, groundbreaking direct support labor force that is at the heart and soul of assistance for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD). The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) recognizes and thanks DSPs around the United States who help make all the difference in the world for people with disabilities.

DSPs are essential to the values and mission of NACDD and our member Councils. As we work to ensure that every individual with an I/DD is empowered and equipped to lead an independent, meaningful, and full life, a DSP stands ready to ensure the success of that individual. Especially during this time in the pandemic, the role of the DSP has become even more crucial. We recognize the difficulty of making sure everyone remains safe, yet also cared for. DSPs are truly so much more than a health worker, or nurse, or job coach as they combine so many different professions into one.

NACDD also congratulates Ann Hardiman, Chief Innovation Officer for the New York Alliance for Inclusion & Innovation, on receiving the John F. Kennedy Jr. Award for Direct Support Workforce Advocacy and Leadership on Monday from the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP). Ms. Hardiman led the New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies (NYSACRA) as its Executive Director for over 20 years. Throughout the course of her career, she has constantly focused on increasing the working conditions of the direct support workforce.

Our country has a crisis in care-giving for people with disabilities and DSP‘s make all the difference in the world for people with I/DD. We thank them again for all their dedication and hard work not just during the pandemic, but every day before during and after.