NADSP Membership

Take part in a national movement to elevate the status of direct support professionals

Vaccine Hesitancy Campaign

NADSP’s nationwide campaign to improve vaccination rates

DSP Career Ladder Report

New report about the E-Badge Academy and Career Ladder programs

DSP Onboarding Curriculum

Set up direct support professionals for success on the job

COVID-19 Follow-Up Report

Experiences of the direct support workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic

The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals Vision

A world with a highly qualified and professional direct support workforce that partners with, supports and empowers people with disabilities to lead a life of their choosing.


A world with a highly qualified and professional direct support workforce that partners with, supports and empowers people with disabilities to lead a life of their choosing.


To elevate the status of direct support professionals by improving practice standards, promoting system reform, and advancing their knowledge, skills and values.


NADSP values the full participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life through the provision of person-centered supports. We believe that high quality support requires all professionals to follow the individual path suggested by the unique gifts, preferences, and needs of each person they support, and to walk in partnership with the person, and those who love him or her, toward a life of opportunity, well-being, freedom, and contribution.

Who Are Direct Support Professionals?


Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) assist people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in realizing their full potential and becoming valued and participating members of their communities. Their work is complex and goes well beyond caregiving, requiring skills including independent problem solving, decision making, behavioral assessment and prevention, medication administration, health and allied health treatment, teaching new skills, crisis prevention and intervention and more. The job duties of a DSP may resemble those of teachers, nurses, social workers, counselors, physical or occupational therapists, dieticians, chauffeurs, personal trainers, and others. Their work requires strong communication skills and the ability to build relationships with the people they support and their families. DSPs may work in family or individual homes, intermediate care facilities, residential group homes, community job sites, vocational and day programs, and other locations. Their work is determined by the unique needs and preferences of the individuals they support and they are held to high ethical and professional standards.

NADSP Services

The various services and programs offered by The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) provide professional development opportunities along with the resulting recognition and acknowledgement that employees deserve. Whether a DSP pursues a rigorous certification, or a Frontline Supervisor benefits from an in-depth curriculum, NADSP equips organizations with tools to help their employees succeed.

E-Badge Academy

The NADSP E-Badge Academy offers DSPs the ability to earn electronic badges to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and values.


Certification provides national recognition for the contributions and competence of staff who meet the NADSP certification standards.


These professional development options will help improve both the knowledge and skill sets of DSPs, Frontline Supervisors, and other human service providers.


NADSP has developed a number of curricula options to help human service providers bring the ideals and approaches of NADSP into their organization.

Accredited Education

NADSP’s accredited education offering demonstrates that programs effectively teach the ethics, knowledge, and skills that constitute best practice.

Keynote Presentations

NADSP conducts keynote presentations for conferences and meetings to inform attendees about pressing issues affecting human services.

“Quality is defined at the point of interaction between the staff member and the individual with a disability.”
- John F. Kennedy Jr., NADSP's ideological founder

Establish a DSP Standard Occupational Classification

NADSP is building a coalition to issue a petition to the US Office of Management and Budget, demanding that the office Establish a Direct Support Professional Standard Occupational Classification. 

Latest News & Events

Numerous E-Badges displayed on a dark blue background

It’s demanding work. DSPs deserve credit.

The expectations made of Direct Support Professionals can be overwhelming. There are diverse job responsibilities that require a wide range ...
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A Time of Thanks

A Time of Thanks

The Thanksgiving holiday tends to be a time for reflection, connection, and especially appreciation. It’s no different for all of ...
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Here's an update on that petition, by the numbers.

Here’s an update on that petition, by the numbers.

It was less than two weeks ago. NADSP launched a brand new campaign, and it definitely did launch. The response ...
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Direct Support Professionals Don't Have One. They Work Anonymously.

Direct Support Professionals Don’t Have One. They Work Anonymously.

The code for a Certified Nursing Assistant is 31-1014. The code for a Home Health Aide is 31-1121. The code ...
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