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Strengthening the Voices of Direct Support Professionals

Goal of Grant

By year two, over 800 direct support professionals who support people with disabilities and their families will be provided information to improve support by encouraging a better trained, more respected, and more involved workforce. (Frontline Initiatives).

Updates and Articles

Grantee Spotlight: Strengthening the Voices of Direct Support Professionals
September 2017

As a part of its Community Living goal in the Five-Year Plan, Ohio DD Council awarded the Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (OADSP) with the “Strengthening the Voices of Direct Support Professionals” grant. The goal of this initiative aims to have over 800 direct support professionals (DSP) who support people with disabilities and their families be provided information to improve support by encouraging a better trained, more respected, and more involved workforce.

In response to the direct support workforce shortage, organizations in Ohio created a career path by building a DSP credentialing pathway. Called Professional Achievement through Training & Education in Human Services (PATHS), it incorporates the Community Support Skills Standards, the National Association of Direct Support Professionals Code of Ethics and the Minnesota Front Line Supervisor Standards. Participants work with a skills mentor as they complete training and prepare portfolios to document their skills.

The Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council has provided funds to support DSPs since 2001. In 2001, OADSP was funded for six years to design a volunteer credentialing program for DSPs working with people with disabilities in collaboration with other disability organizations, especially the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, in a selected region of Ohio.

In 2007, Council funded the OADSP to engage in sustainability planning, so the PATHS credentialing program for direct support professionals will be sustained statewide through consumer and employer demand. In 2012 Council invested funds to directly benefit DSP to:

  • Attend conferences.
  • Create opportunities for networking.
  • Participate in webinars.
  • Receive funding for classroom training and/or on-line training.

OADSP created the DSP Council, which meets in person at least four times per year in order to discuss issues facing DSPs to make recommendations for improved support systems.


Return to Current Projects

Award Amount: $25,000

Grantee: Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals

Council staff responsible: Fatica Ayers


Grants are awarded for five years (with an annual continuation review) unless otherwise noted.