Letter to the editor: DSPs make a difference in many lives every daySept. 9-15 is a week set aside to honor the professionals who provide direct care to individuals with disabilities, empowering them to live meaningful and productive lives.
By: Eric Monson, Jamestown, The Jamestown Sun
Sept. 9-15 is a week set aside to honor the professionals who provide direct care to individuals with disabilities, empowering them to live meaningful and productive lives. Their job title is direct support professional (DSP); North Dakotans served by the Anne Carlsen Center prefer to call them “awesome,” “caring,” “mentor” and “friend.” We thank Gov. Jack Dalrymple for his proclamation designating the second week of September as Direct Support Professional Recognition Week in North Dakota.
Across the state — with offices and centers in Jamestown, Fargo, Grand Forks, Devils Lake and Bismarck — Anne Carlsen Center DSPs work closely with children and young adults, provide a wide range of services, and help each person achieve a maximum level of independence and success. Talented and hardworking, they overcome challenges and find creative solutions. While meeting physical, emotional and intellectual needs, these caring professionals help nurture abilities in individuals of all ages and foster achievement beyond expectations.
Direct support professionals assist with many activities of daily living, like bathing and dressing, and also help make a variety of enriching experiences possible, such as learning new words, baking bread, assembling a cookbook, painting a mural, making greeting cards, delivering the mail and navigating hallways and roads. They help individuals of all ages become more integrated into and play important roles in their communities.
The values of the Anne Carlsen Center are compassion, gratitude, holistic care, acceptance, lifelong learning, teamwork and service above self. These all are reflected in each of our DSPs and the results they achieve. Through their efforts — strengthened by the support of dedicated donors across the region — they help create a more inclusive world and provide the gift of independence to those we serve. It takes love, patience and dedication. It’s what DSPs do every single day.
The entire Anne Carlsen Center family—students, clients, parents, guardians and staff members — wishes to express our heartfelt gratitude for direct support professionals and what they accomplish, not just this week, but every day of every week of every year.
(Monson is CEO of Anne Carlsen Center)