For the efforts of those who work closely with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed the week of Sept. 11-17, Direct Support Professionals (DSP) week in South Dakota.
DSPs are the primary providers of publicly funded long-term supports and services for individuals with disabilities. The supports and services provided by DSPs allow South Dakotans with disabilities to live and work as independently as possible. DSPs also help keep individuals with disabilities connected to their families, friends and communities.
Department of Human Services (DHS) Cabinet Secretary Gloria Pearson said, “Direct support professionals form the backbone of South Dakota’s community supports and services.” Pearson added, “It’s important for South Dakota to be able to recruit, train and retain a highly qualified DSP workforce and to recognize the skilled and compassionate supports they provide.”
DSPs work at the 19 Community Support Provider agencies throughout the state as well as at the South Dakota Developmental Center in Redfield.
Various programs, activities and ceremonies will take place across South Dakota to honor the state’s long-term supports and services workforce.
DSP week in South Dakota coincides with National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week to celebrate DSPs across the country and also begins on Sept. 11.