IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 31, 2014

Mr. Cardin (for himself, Ms. Collins, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Brown, Mr.
Casey, Mr. Franken, Mr. Grassley, Mr. King, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Manchin,
Mr. Markey, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Portman, Mr. Rockefeller, and Ms. Warren)
submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to

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RESOLUTION

Designating the week beginning September 7, 2014, as “National Direct
Support Professionals Recognition Week”.

Whereas direct care workers, personal assistants, personal attendants, in-home
support workers, and paraprofessionals (referred to in this preamble as
“direct support professionals”) are the primary providers of publicly-
funded long-term support and services for millions of individuals with
disabilities;
Whereas direct support professionals must build a close, respectful, and trusted
relationship with individuals with disabilities;
Whereas direct support professionals assist individuals with disabilities with
intimate personal care assistance on a daily basis;
Whereas direct support professionals provide a broad range of individualized
support, including–

(1) preparation of meals;

(2) helping with medications;

(3) assisting with bathing and dressing;

(4) assisting individuals with physical disabilities with access to
their environment;

(5) providing transportation to school, work, religious, and
recreational activities; and

(6) helping with general aspects of daily living, such as financial
matters, medical appointments, and personal interests;

Whereas direct support professionals provide essential support to help keep
individuals with disabilities connected to family, friends, and
community;
Whereas direct support professionals support individuals with disabilities in
making choices that lead to meaningful, productive lives;
Whereas direct support professionals are the key to helping individuals with
disabilities to live successfully in the community, and to avoid more
costly institutional care;
Whereas the participation of direct support professionals in medical care
planning is critical to the successful transition from medical events to
post-acute care and long-term support and services;
Whereas the majority of direct support professionals are the primary financial
providers for their families and often work multiple jobs to make ends
meet;
Whereas direct support professionals are a critical element in supporting
individuals who are receiving health care services for severe chronic
health conditions and individuals with with functional limitations;
Whereas while direct support professionals work and pay taxes, many direct
support professionals earn poverty-level wages and are therefore
eligible for the same Federal and State public assistance programs on
which individuals with disabilities served by direct support
professionals must also depend;
Whereas Federal and State policies assert the right of certain individuals with
a disability to live in a residential setting in the community, or an
institutional setting of their choice, and the Supreme Court of the
United States, in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999), confirmed that
right for certain individuals;
Whereas, as of 2014, the majority of direct support professionals are employed
in home and community-based settings and this majority is projected to
increase over the next decade;
Whereas there is a documented and increasing critical shortage of direct support
professionals throughout the United States; and
Whereas many direct support professionals are forced to leave their jobs due to
inadequate wages and benefits and limited opportunities for advancement,
creating demonstrated high turnover and vacancy rates, which adversely
affect the quality of support and the safety and health of individuals
with disabilities: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate–
(1) designates the week beginning September 7, 2014, as
“National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week”;
(2) recognizes the dedication of direct support
professionals and the vital role direct support professionals
have in enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities of
all ages;
(3) appreciates the contribution of direct support
professionals in supporting individuals with disabilities and
their families in the United States;
(4) identifies direct support professionals as integral to
long-term support and services for individuals with
disabilities; and
(5) finds that the successful implementation of the public
policies affecting individuals with disabilities in the United
States depends on the dedication of direct support
professionals.