- NADSP envisions a world where people with intellectual and other disabilities live community-based lives of their choosing supported by a highly qualified direct support workforce with the knowledge, skills, and values needed to support them in achieving their life goals.
- In 1996, NADSP’s ideological founder, John F. Kennedy Jr. wrote "Quality is defined at the point of interaction between the staff member and the individual with a disability”. Given this, NADSP’s mission is to enhance the quality of support provided to people with disabilities through the provision of products, services, and certifications which elevate the status of direct support workers, improve practice standards, promote systems reform and, most importantly, advance the knowledge, skills, and values of direct support workers.
- 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.
NADSP’s Operating Principles:
- NADSP is guided by a belief that:
- All direct support professionals benefit from access to well-constructed educational experiences (e.g., in-service training, continuing and higher education) and lifelong learning;
- Certifying highly qualified workers incentivizes continuing education, increased compensation, and access to career pathways for direct support professionals thereby improving retention;
- Values and ethical decision making can be learned and infused into daily practice; and
- Strengthening relationships and partnerships between direct support professionals, self-advocates, and other consumer groups and families improves the quality of support.
Formally adopted by the board of directors, March 12, 2013