DSPANYS Urges “Code of Ethics” As Solution to Abuse, Neglect Problems As New York State Moves to Adopt NADSP Code of Ethics, DSPANYS Declares 2012 “The Year of the Code of Ethics”

ALBANY, NY (3/30/2012)—The Direct Support Professional Alliance of New York State (DSPANYS) has declared 2012 “The Year of the Code of Ethics.” As the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) moves forward to adopt the National Association for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP)’s Code of Ethics (DSPANYS is the New York State Chapter of NADSP), DSPANYS applauds their action.

“When you have a Code of Ethics like the one NADSP and DSPANYS have put forward, it becomes much easier to figure out the appropriate course of action in challenging situations,” commented Mike Tuggey, DSPANYS’ President and a direct support professional himself. “We, as direct support professionals – the front line of supporting people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities – must live, breathe, and believe the Code of Ethics.”

In 2011, a much-publicized series of New York Times articles exposed problems in the system for people with developmental disabilities. In response, Governor Andrew Cuomo assigned his Special Advisor for Vulnerable Persons, Clarence Sundram, to review the system and find out from where these problems stemmed. In his report, which was leaked to the New York Times on March 22, Sundram remarked that “Such incidents are newsworthy precisely because they are unusual - deviations from the norm of tens of thousands of caring people who do their jobs quietly and unspectacularly every day.”

Sundram went on to say that “While much is said about the value of these direct support jobs, the traditional hallmarks of value are often missing - qualifying credentials, adequate pay, career ladders, attention to working conditions.” He went on to call for New York State to adopt a Code of Ethics and a credentialing program, another aspect of the solution for which DSPANYS has longed advocated.

To help recognize 2012 as the Year of the Code of Ethics, DSPANYS will be presenting workshops on the Code of Ethics yearlong and across the State. Additionally, the Organization will be launching a new website and will be releasing a training video on the code of ethics, helping human resources professionals train employees on how to live ethically, avoiding situations of abuse and neglect.

About DSPANYS

DSPANYS is the New York State Chapter of the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP). We partner with people who utilize community human services to live self-directed lives with dignity and pride. Direct Support Professionals support people receiving services to realize their dreams and enjoy the daily liberties and human rights that others take for granted.

The Importance of a DSP Code of Ethics: NADSP Responds to NYT Article on Abuse & Neglect in New York Group Homes

On March 13th, 2011, the New York Times published an investigative report that exposed serious abuse and neglect of people with developmental disabilities at the hands of employees working in state-operated group homes across New York State. It was situations like this that led the NADSP to develop ethical guidelines for direct support professionals. In 2001, the NADSP convened a national panel of direct support professionals, advocates, families, other professionals, and researchers who constructed a code of ethics. Focus groups and surveys regarding the draft language were conducted throughout the country, and were integrated to create the final code. Our Code of Ethics is intended to serve as a straightforward and relevant ethical guide, shedding some light on the shared path to a self-directed life. It is intended to guide direct support professionals in resolving ethical dilemmas we face every day and to encourage all of us to achieve the highest ideals of our profession. Obviously, this news story has hit the NADSP community very hard. One of our guiding principles is to "enhance the status of direct support professionals" so we felt obliged to write the following letter to the editor of the New York Times. We invite your feedback by sending us an e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read the NADSP Letter to the Editor-NYT (PDF)

Board member Regis Obijiski also weighed in on the opportunity for New York to examine its policies and promote credentialing, as well as high quality education and training that emphasizes ethics and competencies, for DSPs across the state:

Read this article with quotes from Regis Obijiski.

NADSP Participates in Developing New DOL Competency Model

The NADSP is an Industry Champion for the United States Department of Labor's new Long-term Care, Supports, and Services Competency Model, announced in March 2011. Learn more here or view the competency model here.

DSP Chronicles Profiles

Zoubir BittoutThe National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is please d to recognize Zoubir Bittout from Bancroft in Cherry Hill, N.J. for his commitment and excellence as a Direct Support Professional. Zoubir is highlighted in the current issue of The DSP Chronicles, a publication of the College of Direct Support (CDS).

Read more about Zoubir in the latest issue of The DSP Chronicles (PDF) and view other issues of the DSP Chronicles here.

2010/11 Moving Mountains Award Winners

We are pleased to announce the following winners of the 2010/11 Moving Mountains Best Practices Award:

  • NADSP/College of Direct Support Credentialing Project through Mat-Su Services for Children and Adults in Wasilla, Alaska
  • Pathways to Excellence (P2E) Program through Ability Beyond Disability, based in Bethel, Connecticut and Mt. Kisco, New York

The Moving Mountains award recognizes organizations using best practice in direct support staff workforce development that result in improved outcomes for the people being supported. Learn more about the Moving Mountains award and recent winners.

Meet Joe Macbeth, Executive Director of NADSP!

Joseph MacbethAfter a national search, the Board of Directors of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals is delighted to welcome our new Executive Director, Joseph M. Macbeth.

Read more about Joe Macbeth (PDF)

AFP State Teams Need You

On Wednesday, January 26th, the National Direct Service Workforce (DSW) Resource Center held an important teleconference/webinar about the US DOL Registered Apprenticeship program and the new Direct Support Professional (DSP) Registered Apprenticeship Standards.

View a recording of this Webinar

More information (PDF)

DSP Chronicles Profiles

Antoinette FreemanThe National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is pleased to recognize Antoinette Freeman from SPIN Inc. (Special People In Northeast, Inc.) for her commitment and excellence as a Direct Support Professional. Antoinette is highlighted in the current issue of The DSP Chronicles, a publication of the College of Direct Support(CDS).

Read more about Antoinette in the latest issue of The DSP Chronicles (PDF) and view other issues of the DSP Chronicles here.

DSP Chronicles Profiles

Judy DuncanThe National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is pleased to recognize Judy Duncan from The Baddour Center for her commitment and excellence as a Direct Support Professional. Judy is highlighted in the current issue of The DSP Chronicles, a publication of the College of Direct Support (CDS).

Read more about Judy in the latest issue of The DSP Chronicles (PDF) and view other issues of the DSP Chronicles here.

DSP Chronicles Profiles

Judy WilsonThe National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is pleased to recognize Judy Wilson from CLASS LTD for her commitment and excellence as a Direct Support Professional. Judy is highlighted in the current issue of The DSP Chronicles, a publication of the College of Direct Support(CDS).

Read more about Judy in the latest issue of The DSP Chronicles (PDF) and view other issues of the DSP Chronicles here.

NADSP Congratulates Newly Accredited Programs

Essential Learning, an online learning service, and the Georgia Direct Support Certificate Program, a workforce development initiative, are now Accredited through the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals. Courses of study in direct support professional skills and competencies through these organizations can now be used toward the Direct Support Professional Credentialing ProgramLearn more here.

NADSP and ANCOR Announce DSP Apprenticeship Program

NADSP and ANCOR (American Network of Community Resources) announce the Direct Support Professional Registered Apprentice Program with the Department of Labor. 
Read the NADSP and ANCOR Press Release (PDF) 
Read the Department of Labor Press Release (PDF)

New Jersey announces statewide implementation of the College of Direct Support

The New Jersey Department of Human Services issued a press release announcing statewide implementation of the College of Direct Support. Agencies that receive funding through DDD’s Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Waiver will be able to access the CDS free-of-charge to take state-of-the-art courses about Autism, Brain Injury, Communicating with individuals who are non-verbal, Depression, Community Inclusion, Employment and at least twenty additional courses. 
Read the Press Release (PDF)

LINKS Newsletter Highlights DSPs-to-DC, ANCOR DSP of the Year

LINKS is the national newsletter for ANCOR (the Association of Community Options and Resources). In this issue, Tina Fagan, DSP-Certified, and Board member Joe Macbeth are shown speaking to a large assembly during DSPs-to-DC. NADSP members played an important part in DSPs-to-DC, presenting on topics including DSP Professionalism, Credentialing, and the NADSP Code of Ethics. 
Read the LINKS Newsletter (PDF)

DSP Recognition Week Video

The New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies (NYSACRA) has recently launched a new web site dedicated to DSP Professional Development. View their DSP Recognition Week Video PSA here:

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or go to their web site at: http://www.directsupportprofessional.org/ to view additional videos and other resources.

DSP Chronicles Profiles Gifford Hess

Gifford HessThe National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is pleased to recognize Gifford Hess from Special Needs Program (SNP) of New York for his commitment and excellence as a Direct Support Professional. Gifford is highlighted in the current issue of The DSP Chronicles, a publication of the College of Direct Support (CDS).

Read more about Gifford in the latest issue of The DSP Chronicles (PDF) and view other issues of the DSP Chronicles here.

2010 Direct Support Professional of the Year

Maria CordovaRead about Maria Cordova and others honored as part of ANCOR's National Advocacy Campaign. Visit ANCOR's You Need to Know Me web site to learn more about Maria and other award winners.

DSP Chronicles Profiles Lorrie Ann Varner

Lorrie Ann VarnerThe National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is pleased to recognize Lorrie Ann Varner from Monarch of North Carolina for her commitment and excellence as a Direct Support Professional. Lorrie is highlighted in the current issue of The DSP Chronicles, a publication of the College of Direct Support (CDS).

Read more about Lorrie in the latest issue of The DSP Chronicles (PDF) and view other issues of the DSP Chronicles here.

DSP Chronicles Profiles Nancy Beatty

Nancy BeattyThe National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is pleased to recognize Nancy Beatty from Alternative Community Training Inc. (ACT) in Missouri for her commitment and excellence as a Direct Support Professional. Nancy is highlighted in the current issue of The DSP Chronicles, a publication of the College of Direct Support (CDS).

Read more about Nancy in the latest issue of The DSP Chronicles (PDF) and view other issues of the DSP Chronicles here.

DSP Chronicles Profiles Theresa Laws

Theresa LawsThe National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is pleased to recognize Theresa Laws from the Rensselaer County ARC of NYSARC in New York for her commitment and excellence as a Direct Support Professional. Theresa is highlighted in the current issue of The DSP Chronicles, a publication of the College of Direct Support (CDS).

Read more about Theresa in the latest issue of The DSP Chronicles (PDF) and view other issues of the DSP Chronicles here.

DSP Chronicles Profiles Daniel Escojido

Daniel EscojidoThe National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is pleased to recognize Daniel Escojido from Supported Community Lifestyles in Oklahoma for his commitment and excellence as a Direct Support Professional. Daniel is highlighted in the current issue of The DSP Chronicles, a publication of the College of Direct Support (CDS).

Read more about Daniel in the latest issue of The DSP Chronicles (PDF) and view other issues of the DSP Chronicles here.

DSP Chronicles Profiles Faye Miller

Faye MillerThe National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is pleased to recognize Faye Miller from Ability Building Services in South Dakota for her commitment and excellence as a Direct Support Professional. Faye is highlighted in the current issue of The DSP Chronicles, a publication of the College of Direct Support (CDS).

Read more about Faye in the latest issue of The DSP Chronicles (PDF) and view other issues of the DSP Chronicles here.

ANCOR's 2009 DSP of the Year

Darlene RiccoRead about Darlene Ricco and others honored as part of ANCOR's National Advocacy Campaign. Visit ANCOR's You Need to Know Me web site to learn more about Darlene and other award winners.

DSPs to become NADSP Credentialed DSP-Cs

Kimberly Anderson, Leona Sawyer and Jeanette Shwe, with TARC from Kansas, are the first Direct Support Professionals in the United States to be registered and have been granted DSP-Certified status through the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals! These individuals have been highlighted on 49 News in Kansas and The Topeka Capital-Journal. To learn more about their accomplishments, please visit Topeka Capital-Journal Online - It's Your Business and KTKA News: "TARC staff first to become nationally certified in the U.S."

DSP Chronicles Profiles Dave Bergeron

Dave Bergeron
Dave Bergeron, left, and Chris enjoy the newspaper.

The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is pleased to recognize Dave Bergeron from ECCO, Inc. in South Dakota for his commitment and excellence as a Direct Support Professional. Dave is highlighted in the current issue of The DSP Chronicles, a publication of the College of Direct Support (CDS).

Read more about Dave in the latest issue of The DSP Chronicles (PDF) and view other issues of the DSP Chronicles here.

DSP Chronicles Profiles John Lambert

John Lambert
John Lambert, right, enjoys an outing with Bill Keith

The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is pleased to recognize John Lambert from Moore Center Services in New Hampshire for his commitment and excellence as a Direct Support Professional. John is highlighted in the current issue of The DSP Chronicles, a publication of the College of Direct Support (CDS).

Read more about John in the latest issue of The DSP Chronicles (PDF) and view other issues of the DSP Chronicles here.

NADSP National Partners

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