Direct Support Professional Recognition Week

Susan Dubbs, DSPSusan Dubbs has worked as a Direct Support Professional for over 37 years. When she began in 1986, people with disability were moving out of institutions and establishing lives in the community, and she has seen how people thrive in environments where they had opportunities to explore their interests and direct their own lives.

“This is my passion,” said Susan. “I love what I do.” KHS’s mission reflects her own values and beliefs, and she has worked as an advocate alongside the people she supports to ensure they have access to all their rights, especially rights to medical care.

“Hiring the right DSP for the appropriate program makes all the difference in the world. It allows relationships to develop and grow, while barriers become far less prevalent,” said Ryan VenDouern, Executive Director of Intellectual Disability Services in Delaware.

B CooperBoima Cooper, who received the Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability (PAR)’s Length of Service Award in 2022, focuses on building strong connections with the people he supports. Through those strong connections, he has become a role model and partner.

Frank Marter, a Direct Support Professional within Keystone Autism Services, said, “I have the opportunity to positively impact people’s lives, promote valued roles, and help enact social change. I get to bring some of the best parts of myself to my job.”

Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are at the heart of everything we do. As the job title suggests, DSPs not only provide direct support, working with people with disability as they live their daily lives in the community, but they become partners and advocates alongside the people they support.

“Direct Support Professionals act as models and guides for people who accept our services as they build their independence,” said Charles Sweeder, President and CEO of Keystone Human Services. “DSPs create an inclusive environment where people can strive to achieve their hopes and dreams. Thank you, DSPs, for all you do to advance the mission of Keystone Human Services!”

“Keystone Human Services’ Direct Support Professionals are the critical link between the KHS mission and the people who accept our services,” said Stephen Rader, KHS Board Chair. “Their dedication and commitment to supporting people to thrive in the community is invaluable to our mission to create opportunities for growth and meaningful life choices so all people can be valued, contributing members of their community.”

Last week (September 10-16) was Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, and we recognize the essential role DSPs play in making sure people accepting our services are listened to and included and their rights are respected.