March has many reasons to celebrate; one being St. Patrick’s Day, March also often brings us new life, whether it be plant or animal.

One of the least publicized celebrations for the month is Developmental Disability Awareness Month. The themes this year all seem to be
built around community, and the awareness of how important it is in each person’s life, no matter what your societal status. In the 2010 Gallup Press  publication, Well Being, The Five Essential Elements, community wellbeing is number five. Without that sense of community, feeling safe and secure, all other areas of well being are compromised.

Quite possibly the most important piece in creating community and wellbeing, is the direct support professional that stands with a person who experiences life with a disability. The direct support professional adheres to the Code of Ethics when making day to day decisions. One of the nine ethics is integrity and responsibility. The National Alliance for DSP’s make it easy to understand what is meant with the definition. As a DSP. I will support the  mission and vitality of my profession to assist people in leading SELF directed lives, fostering a spirit of partnerships with the people I support, other professionals and the community. (Emphasis is mine).

Easy to understand even tougher to pull off.

Act with integrity when no one is looking because someone is
always watching, learning and modeling your integrity.

Being responsible!  If it is within your realm of ability, skills and talent,  Nike
said it best – JUST DO IT!

When we, guide, lead,  build, expect, demand,  a workforce of Direct Support Professionals, who commit to the Code of Ethics, then we will have a much larger community to celebrate.   What will you be celebrating in March 2013?