Between September 11 and September 17 agencies across the country celebrated Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week as a way to stop, consider the great work DSP staff do everyday, and thank them for that work. Direct Support Professional Recognition Week is part of the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) National Advocacy Campaign, whose mission is to enhance the lives of all people with disabilities who rely on long-term supports and services by obtaining the resources to recruit, train and retain a highly qualified and sustainable workforce.
“DSP Recognition Week is one way we try to say, 'thank you' to the people who turn the intentions of our laws and regulations written to provide opportunities for people with disabilities into actions,” said Barbara Merrill, CEO of ANCOR. “It’s also a very important reminder to our legislators and policymakers that this workforce is essential, and their wages and training deserve attention as states set rates for IDD services.”
Direct Support Professional Recognition Week is celebrated annually across the country with special events earmarked to honor the tens of thousands of workers who enable people with intellectual, developmental and other significant disabilities and their families to live healthy lives in their communities.
Here at L.I.F.E. Inc., we had a week of fun surprises, giveaways, contests, and celebrations to help show our appreciation for the dedication and skill each DSP staff member brings to our programs on a daily basis. Our week started with our area directors - Carolyn Borges, Stephanie Chabot, and Virginia Messier and our Director of Human Resources - Matt Murphy spreading across the state to deliver fresh donuts and coffee from Dunkin Donuts bright and early on Monday morning to all of our programs. On Wednesday, our program managers delivered double-walled commemorative travel mugs filled with candy to all of our DSP staff. On Thursday, our managers treated their evening shift staff to dinner from a local favorite in their area of the state. Finally, on Friday we delivered gift cards valued at $15 to Cumberland Farms, which has been a popular annual gift for DSP Recognition Week because of the wide range of products, services, and conveniences offered by Cumberland Farms.
For each of our giveaways and celebrations throughout the week we gave DSP staff members the chance to win an additional $25 gift card by sharing photos of the festivities at their program. Through these employee engagement contests we awarded five additional gift cards to our staff members. Our thanks to all of the staff members who took the time to send their photos into us each day. A gallery of the photos we collected can be found below. In addition to the aforementioned perks throughout the week, we also awarded a $50 Wal-Mart gift card to a randomly selected DSP staff each day with no entry necessary. Thank you to all of our Direct Support Professional staff members and we look forward to our next chance to recognize the great work you do every day!
In addition to our statewide celebrations and appreciation of the people who make the most important difference for those that we support here at L.I.F.E. – our Direct Support Professional staff, we were welcomed to the Rhode Island Statehouse on Thursday, as Governor Gina Raimondo made a proclamation to officially recognize DSP week, ceremonially validating the hard work DSP’s do on a daily basis. This day ended with a packed house at Roger Williams Casino, as CPNRI held their Annual Celebration, bestowing awards for DSP of the Year from nominations from member agencies. We would like to take a minute to recognize L.I.F.E.’s DSP of the Year, Isaac Xavier – Santos. Isaac has been with us for five years, and his positivity, caring nature and dedication makes him a fantastic team member! Photos of the celebration can be found in the gallery below.