Dear Colleagues,

The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals are partnering on a new initiative designed to help us support the development of our direct support professionals.

We are planning six regional DSP Dialogues to present the national Code of Ethics for DSPs and these workshops will also provide a forum to discuss challenges and solutions surrounding key issues in the ever-important work of the direct support professional. The Dialogues are one facet of our commitment to carry out the recommendations for direct support professionals in the special report by Clarence Sundram to the Governor earlier this year.

These one-day Dialogues will be held the coming weeks in each of six regions across New York. They will bring together 30 direct support professionals in each session, 15 from the state-operated system and 15 from the voluntary-operated system, to discuss matters of importance to the profession of direct support and develop strategies that will ultimately affect quality at that critical point of interaction.

We are asking for your support in and participation in this initiative by sending a direct care worker from your organization to the first Dialogue on Thursday, July 26 in Albany. This is a wonderful opportunity to enhance the status of our direct support workforce, by listening and learning from those who are in the most critical role, the direct support professional.

The Dialogue will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include lunch, provided by the College of Direct Support. It will be held at the Professional Development Program in the University of Albany Administration Building, Room 437, 1400 Washington Avenue. Additional information, including directions and parking details, will be sent to you for participants.  In each Dialogue, we are interested in having a diversity of workers from the wide variety of service environments, including residential, day, at-home and respite services.

Space is limited to 15 , please send the name and contact information for your direct support professional to participant to Joe Macbeth from NADSP (518-449-7551, jmacbeth@nadsp.org), no later than the end of business on July 19th.

Thank you for joining us in this process to affect system-wide improvement by seeking valuable input from your direct support professionals.

Sincerely,

Courtney Burke                                                 Joseph Macbeth

Commissioner                                                   Executive Director

OPWDD                                             National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals