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Supporting DSPs during COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, a new 24-hour support line is working to help individuals with developmental disabilities and those who care for them cope during this tough time. Project Connect is available by calling 888-847-3209.

Covid 19

The International Journal for Direct Support Professionals HELP during COVID-19: Thoughts about meeting the mental health needs of adults with developmental disabilities and those that support them

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Regis is a John F. Kennedy Jr. Award for Direct Support Workforce Advocacy & Leadership Winner and National Historic Recognition Project 2000- 2020 Honoree. For more on Regis Obijiski’s contributions to the field, you can read about him in the in the National Historic Recognition Project 2000-2020 Booklet here. 

In the video, Regis shares the stories of two Direct Support Professionals. 

In the video, Peter Leidy, Quality Enhancement Specialist of CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership performs a song of appreciation for this essential workforce.

We are pleased to share another musical Words of Encouragement video. The song this week comes from Michael Steinbruck, MA. Michael is the Executive Director of The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices (TLCPCP). 

Imagine's David Pitonyak shares a message of well wishes for the Direct Support Professionals working during COVID-19 pandemic.

Words of Encouragement from Ramu Iyer

Words of Encouragement from Liz Weintraub

Words of Encouragement from John Dickerson

Looking for additional support during this time? Please note the resources below:

Self Care Resource Page for DSPs (webinars, handouts and additional resources:

On-Boarding New DSPs in A Crisis (Code of Ethics Webinar Series, Competency Webinar Series, additional resources):

Want to Share Your Story?

If you have additional resources to share, please connect with us at

NADSP recognizes the invaluable work that Direct Support Professionals all over the world are doing during this unprecedented time. We appreciate you. We hope you remain safe and well.

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As you know, legislation continues to move through Congress to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential that this legislation includes provisions to support people with disabilities, family caregivers, and the direct support professional workforce.


We know people with disabilities will be disproportionally impacted, and we are worried we are being left out.


CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership

Since 1969, CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership has been a leader in working with human service organizations and systems to continuously define, measure, and improve quality of life and quality of services for youth, adults, and older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities. CQL offers accreditation, training, certification, research, and consultation services to agencies that share our vision of dignity, opportunity, and community for all people.

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COVID-19 Resources


There are numerous ways that the human services field can access the latest and most relevant information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and specifically how to support people with disabilities during the crisis.

CQL has compiled a list of toolkits, resources, and information to provide some guidance on better understanding and being responsive to COVID-19. These will assist human service organizations and support staff during this ever-changing situation.


Tools for Recruiting DSPs

During the COVID-19 Pandemic



In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, disability service providers find the struggle to recruit and retain direct support professionals even more pronounced than usual. Meanwhile, workers from a range of industries — restaurants, hotels, travel and tourism, and more — are finding themselves laid off and without work.

Recognizing that now may be the perfect time for displaced workers to find their next passion in our profession, ANCOR has created a series of tools designed to help connect provider organizations with potential job seekers to create opportunity in the midst of crisis.

The Role of the DSP and the Coronavirus: Part One

The current worldwide news about the emergence of the Coronavirus is on everyone’s list of concerns, questions and insecurities. We created this webinar specifically for Direct Support Professionals to provide them with guidelines for understanding the virus, protecting the individuals they support in the community and offering reliable resources for ongoing news and practices.

The Role of the DSP and Coronavirus: Part Two

In this installment of the Role of the Direct Support Profession and the Coronavirus,  NADSP’s Medical Adviser provides a brief update on developments since the previous “Part One” webinar in supporting people with disabilities during this pandemic. Specific information dedicated to direct support professionals will be reviewed.

The Role of the DSP and Coronavirus: Part Three

In this live  installment of the Role of the Direct Support Profession and the Coronavirus,  NADSP’s Medical Adviser  along with NADSP Staff provide a live update on developments since the previous “Part Two” webinar in supporting people with disabilities during this pandemic. Specific information dedicated to direct support professionals will be reviewed.

Meditation for DSPs in Times in Stress

Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Director of Educational Services, John Raffaele has created a meditation for DSPs in times of stress. We are here for you during this very difficult time. If you want to connect with John, he can be reached at:

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