It’s that time of year again!

 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

_______________________________________________________________________

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.

By |2016-11-03T10:15:11+00:00August 29th, 2014|Categories: Kristen Thompson's Posts|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on It’s that time of year again!

IN PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE –

Excellence is a choice. It does not discriminate; it is FREE, available to anyone who chooses it.  It is that simple; make the choice to pursue the challenge of excellence. Living the choice is painful; even so, all great things involve some degree of pain.

In the profession of direct support, excellence in service is a true rarity. There are many dedicated direct support professionals across the country working in organizations that are understaffed, and underfunded, leaving the direct support employee, overworked and underpaid.

 In the pursuit of excellence and quality of service, consider the following twelve tips for those of you who choose to begin your journey toward excellence in direct support.

Choose today.

Know what your customers “vision” is.

                Each person has a dream and a picture of how they want their life to be. As a DSP you need to know and hear that, from each person.  Not just what was captured on paper at a     meeting, but build on that by listening to the person you are serving.

Be a mentor.

                The definition of a mentor is a wise or trusted counselor or teacher. As a DSP teach, coach and guide everyday. 

Spend time getting to know your customer.  

                Discuss with, your customer, what expectations and goals they have set for you as their mentor, teacher coach and guide.

Ask for commitment

                Ask your customer for their commitment to the process as well as establishing yourcommitment level to your customer.

Know what tools and resources you will use together.

                Be prepared.  Find out what you will need, get it, and move on, No excuses here

Prepare, daily, plan for tomorrow

                Set goals for each time you are together. Write them down, be concrete specific and detailed soeach person knows what the expectations are.  Ex. today you accomplished laying out the  pattern and cutting the wood.  Tomorrow we will bolt the shelves together and sand the wood.             

Meet regularly

                Establish a set time that you will be working with your customer. Keep as consistent as possible. We all know there are detours on the road, but don’t get lost here. Get back on the established road, quickly.

Debrief progress

                Once a month devote time to discuss progress that has taken place, what each of you haslearned in this process, what adjustments might need to be made and PLAN.

Invest Yourself.

                As a DSP you need to be “present” when you are side by side with your customer. You have tobe immersed in the process and the purpose for there to be progress.  FOCUS, no distractions.Turn off the cell phone, no water cooler conversations going on while serving your customer.

Teach someone else,

                We have all heard the saying – you will learn the lesson faster if you teach someone else. When your customer has accomplished one piece of the goal no matter how small, support them toshare their knowledge and skills with other people.

Launch – Soar – Fly

        Evaluate what you have taught,

        Support your customer to do it alone

        Evaluate what you have learned.

Repeat!  You are on your way!

By |2016-11-03T10:15:13+00:00April 16th, 2014|Categories: Mary Lawson's Posts|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on IN PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE –