Spotlight on Direct Support Professionals

Transitioning Leadership At the DSP Summit, Amy Gerowitz (right), who has led OADSP for many years, announced that she is handing over the organization’s reins to Bethany Toledo (left), who steps into the role from a foundational career in direct support. Amy’s legacy of respecting and elevating the direct support profession through training and accreditation is in good hands -- and DODD congratulates both ladies for their support of individuals with developmental disabilities and their caregivers.

Transitioning Leadership
At the DSP Summit, Amy Gerowitz (right), who has led OADSP for many years, announced that she is handing over the organization’s reins to Bethany Toledo (left), who steps into the role from a foundational career in direct support. Amy’s legacy of respecting and elevating the direct support profession through training and accreditation is in good hands — and DODD congratulates both ladies for their support of individuals with developmental disabilities and their caregivers.

DODD often spotlights Ohio’s direct support professionals, and is working with stakeholders and partners in the statewide DD community to improve the rate at which DSPs are paid (see budget article, this issue). In keeping up with developments, Pipeline attended the second annual Direct Support Professional (DSP) Summit, hosted yesterday by the Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (OADSP) at the Xenos complex, in Columbus.

Welcoming the more than 260 DSPs from across the state, DODD Director John Martin addressed the group, explaining,

I started my career as a DSP. My wife and I were house-parents at a home in northwest Ohio.  We know that your days are quite busy helping people. We also are the parents of an adult son with severe disabilities, and who would not survive without the care of DSPs.  So I thank you – thank you all.”

He also stated that the FY2016-2017 budget currently under consideration has a reduced amount of funding for support of Ohio’s developmental disabilities system from what was suggested originally, in Governor John Kasich’s budget proposal. He explained, “The budget bill now is being considered by the Ohio Senate, and I encourage you to contact your legislators to restore this needed funding as the review process moves forward.” Director Martin added that the proposed six percent rate increase for direct care providers has been long-awaited, and would be used to strengthen the system at the grassroots level.

The Summit offered several informational sessions for DSPs on subjects including the changing environment of traditional workshops (Upcycling Workshops), Personal Safety, Team Communication, Sign Language, and more. Attendees received five Continuing Education Units (CEUs), and a one-year membership to OADSP and the national association, NADSP. The Summit was collaboratively planned by the Ohio DSP Council, which is comprised of leading DSPs from around the state, and funded by Ohio DD Council.

The OADSP Mission is to provide professional development to Ohio human service professionals to strengthen their skills – leading to a recognized, quality workforce, and improved outcomes for each professional and individual served. For more information contact Bethany Toledo, btoledo@oadsp.org.

 

 

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