Despite pandemic, direct support professionals continue to persevere

Despite pandemic, direct support professionals continue to persevere

In the midst of the virus-centered environment which we all call home, I wanted to mention a bright spot that sometimes goes unnoticed in our communities. I’m referring to people who serve the day to day needs of individuals with disabilities as their profession. 

Each day, there are individuals in this community who enjoy a quality of life that wouldn’t be the same if not for the efforts of direct support professionals (DSPs) and other support staff. They work for day service providers like ours, and in residential facilities. 

In response to the challenges presented by COVID-19, people in our profession have adapted, responded and continued to help hundreds of people, in a highly restricted environment. We assist with employment options, life skills and enrichment and community-engagement efforts. People with disabilities have goals in life, and staff are there to help them achieve them. 

This year we acknowledged the important roles that DSPs and all of our staff members play by hosting luncheon celebrations at ProAct locations the week of September 14. The festivities were part of national Direct Support Professional Recognition Week and were well received. 

Whether we realize it or not, recognition is important to all of us. It’s a motivator to keep doing our best, and, in our case, to reach for the best with the people we serve. We are thankful for that opportunity and look forward to a productive fall and winter. 

Judie Foster-Lupkin,
President, ProAct, Inc. 

ProAct is a nonprofit serving people with disabilities, with locations in Eagan, Red Wing, Zumbrota, Shakopee, Minn. and Hudson, Wis. 

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