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Letter: Support professionals make lives better

Allen Connely | Sept. 17, 2017


Connely is executive director of Arc of Seneca Cayuga


The week of September 11th is National Direct Support Professionals Recognition week, when Arc of Seneca Cayuga supports and celebrates the amazing people who have dedicated their life to this fulfilling career.

For those of you not familiar with the title “Direct Support Professional” (DSP), I will explain.

A DSP is someone who works with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. On any given day, their duties could range from helping someone complete a job application to providing the most basic of needs (bathing, dressing, eating).

No matter what duty they perform, a DSP’s job is always honest, respected and rewarding. When you become a DSP, you are not just that title; you are a nurse, teacher, counselor, coach, advocate and friend to the people you support.

Those who decide to be a DSP do not do it for the money or for the title. They do it because of the personal reward they feel. We all have bad days and good days, but at the end of any given day, a DSP knows that they have made a difference in someone’s life by teaching, inspiring and caring for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Seneca County District Attorney, Barry Porsch, is well aware of their value, “The service providers at Arc of Seneca Cayuga provide a great benefit to people they care for.

I have personally observed their wonderful work over the past 30 years and feel we are lucky to have these workers here in our community.”

Today, I ask you, to thank a Direct Support Professional. Thank them for making a difference every day by creating opportunities for people with disabilities and by helping them achieve their hopes and their dreams.