This acknowledgment of the outstanding work done, and the contribution made, by Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) across the country ran in The Missoulian ,the daily newspaper of record in Missoula, Montana on September 12, 2013.
I write in commendation of Congress’ decision to recognize a critical sector of the labor force. Senate Resolution 208 designates the week of Sept. 8 as “National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week.”
As CEO of Missoula Developmental Service Corporation, a nonprofit residential and day activity community for adults with developmental disabilities, I know how fundamental their role is not just in our organization but in our economy and as emblematic of the compassionate society we inhabit. Establishing National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week, as noted by Gov. Steve Bullock, draws deserved and broad public attention to the commitment of hundreds of thousands invaluable professionals engaged in the care of others. But I know that these amazing, selfless people do much more; they are a reservoir of kindness, understanding and encouragement to those who deal with permanent and profound challenges; challenges that 99 percent of us will never know.
Broader than the staff at MDSC, direct support professionals form the front line of staff working directly with the disabled and elderly in group homes, assisted living homes, nursing homes and, in some instances, on private duty. A direct support professional assists individuals of all ages and with the spectrum of physical and developmental incapacities that require help with the most intimate needs on a daily basis.
The MDSC board of directors and management are gratefully aware of the contributions to clients’ quality of life that direct support professionals make possible. Serving the needs of adults with severe developmental and intellectual disabilities is their mission and our collective mission at MDSC and it continues into the third decade. We’ll be marking 23 years on Oct. 10 of “Opening Doors, Transforming Lives.”
Please take a moment to thank a direct support professional you may know in our community for their inspiration on the job.
Francine Sadowski, CEO, Missoula Developmental Service Corporation, Missoula