About Moving Mountains


In partnership, the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP), the Research and Training Center (RTC) at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration and the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) recognize best practices in direct support workforce development by awarding the annual Moving Mountains Award.

The purpose of this award is to recognize organizations using leading practices in direct support workforce development that result in improved outcomes for people with disabilities. Organizations applying are required to illustrate how their direct support workforce practices and philosophy align with the principles of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals.

These principles are: 

  • All direct support professionals benefit from access to well-constructed educational experiences (e.g., competency-based trainings, 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-based 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 advocacy groups and families improves the quality of support.

Nominated programs/initiatives can be small (a single program) or large (statewide) in scope and can involve just a few or many DSPs. The RTC, ANCOR and NADSP look for unique and creative initiatives that contribute to improving workforce outcomes for direct support professionals and their employers.

The call for nominations are announced each year and we welcome applications from statewide/regional initiatives, local organizations, and individuals. Up to two awards will be given each year and are presented at national conferences, alternately at Reinventing Quality Conference on even years and the ANCOR Conference on odd years.