Great Bay Services Celebrates Direct Support Professional Recognition Week
Great Bay Services is excited to celebrate the week of September 8 as Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week. The week raises awareness of the dedication of outstanding DSPs and their contributions to the disability community across New Hampshire, Maine and the country.
The Direct Support Workforce is made up of over 3.6 million workers in the United States and over the past decade, the demand for DSPs has increased by 35%. DSPs ensure people with disabilities have the necessary supports that enable them to live, work and enjoy their lives as independently as possible.
“The direct support workforce is one of the fastest growing in the country, but the pipeline for those entering the profession is not keeping up with the needs of people with disabilities,” said Jennifer L Nickerson, Executive Director of Great Bay Services. “Current Medicaid reimbursement rates in New Hampshire have not been increased in a decade, and it is adversely affecting people with disabilities, DSPs and their families. I applaud New Hampshire for the steps they have taken to support their residents with disabilities, but the workforce and funding crises are real, and need to be addressed.”
DSP Recognition Week is part of the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) National Advocacy Campaign, whose mission is to enhance the lives of all people with disabilities who rely on long-term supports and services by obtaining the resources to recruit, train and retain a highly qualified and sustainable workforce.
“We are so grateful to have the wonderful DSPs that work at Great Bay Services,” said Nickerson. “These individuals have dedicated themselves to making other people’s lives better. They are unsung heroes who deserve the recognition of DSP Week and so much more.”
Celebrated annually across the country, DSP Recognition Week honors the tens of thousands of workers who enable people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families to live healthy lives in their communities.
Great Bay Services was founded in 1954 by a group of parents who refused to send their children with disabilities to the state institutions. The organization continued to be instrumental in the class-action lawsuit that shut down the institution system in New Hampshire. Today, GBS is still on the forefront of innovative and progressive care of adults with disabilities.