Direct support professionals, or DSPs, ensure people with disabilities have the necessary supports that enable them to live, work, and enjoy life as independently as possible in their community. DSPs can work in a number of different settings and often have opportunities to share their own passions and talents with the people they support.
The Direct Support Workforce is made up of over 3.6 million workers in the United States. The demand for direct support workers is expected to increase by 35% from 2008 to 2018. Be a part of this growing profession! Click on the videos, links and resources below to learn more about these rewarding positions.
What are folks looking for in a DSP? Here are some real job descriptions for DSP positions across the country:
What are the real impacts a DSP can have for individuals needing support, their families and their communities? Read about sccessful DSPs around the nation here.
"I can't ever imagine doing anything else now. My job has become way more than a job....I found out pretty quickly that I was naturally good at this. I fell into it. This was never a field I thought about being in. I was going to be a schoolteacher and teach shop. But truthfully, I can't imagine ever doing anything else now."
- Josh Alford, ANCOR's 2016 Direct Support Professional of the Year
ANCOR is a supporting member of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP). NADSP envisions a world where people with intellectual and other disabilities live community-based lives of their choosing supported by a highly qualified direct support workforce with the knowledge, skills, and values needed to support them in achieving their life goals.
NADSP has developed a Code of Ethics and Competency Areas that are seen as road maps to achieve that vision.
The National Frontline Supervisor Competencies (NFSC) are an evidence-based set of knowledge, skills, and abilities that reflect best practice in the supervision of Direct Support Professionals (DSP) who work with individuals with disabilities in residential, work, and community settings. Read more about those competencies here: Competency Sets for Front Line Supervisors.