September 10th through the 16th marked DSP Week 2023! Last week you learned about DSPs, so this week, we'd like to share with you all about NADSP!
DSC joined the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) in 2022 through funding from the Champaign County Developmental Disabilities Board. We chose to join this strong alliance, because everything we do each day revolves around the people receiving services, directly and indirectly. As a member of NADSP, we are proud to demonstrate our commitment to those who make a difference in people’s lives every day. This means that employees have exclusive access to NADSP articles, resources, webinars, discounts, and more, to help support them in their important work.
The vision of NADSP is a world with a highly qualified and professional direct support workforce that partners with, supports, and empowers people with disabilities to lead a life of their choosing. NADSP works to elevate the status of direct support professionals by improving practice standards, promoting system reform, and advancing their knowledge, skills, and values through certification, credentialing, training, professional development, and accreditation services.
Continuous learning and knowledge building are added benefits to being a member of NADSP. In our first year as members, all of the mid managers participated in Frontline Supervisor Training, facilitated by the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF), one of two state associations of which DSC is a member. Following that introduction and through our membership, DSC then invited all Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professionals (QIDPs), and the leadership team to attend two different NADSP sessions:
Creating a Culture of Competence—In this engaging and interactive training session with NADSP, staff learned the latest best practices in direct support that go well beyond the regulations and state-level requirements for this profession. Most training and development for DSPs focuses on regulatory and mandated topics. By embracing the NADSP Code of Ethics and focusing on nationally validated NADSP Competency Areas, DSPs and organizations can ensure that they are supporting personal autonomy, access to integrated settings, informed choices, and person-centered practices.
An Introduction to the NADSP Code of Ethics—The knowledge and skills of direct support practice must be joined with the ethical principles to create the environment needed to fully support people in making life choices. To do so effectively, we must all recognize DSPs as professionals who have values, skills, and knowledge that constitute a unique and important profession, and who can infuse these beliefs into practice. This introduction to the NADSP Code of Ethics explored the nine parts (tenets) of the code and offered participants ideas for incorporating the use of the Code of Ethics in everyday direct support practice.
DSC is proud to be a member of the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals, to invest in professional development opportunities for our staff, and do to our part to professionalize the field. We look forward to utilizing our membership to continue to give the best support to our employees and in turn, those receiving services from DSC.
For more information about NADSP, please visit https://www.nadsp.org.