2022 NADSP Advocacy Symposium

Amplifying The Voices Of DSPs
Logo for 2022 NADSP Policy Event

About the Event

On March 9-10, 2022, the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) will embark on its first-ever national advocacy event to bring the direct support professional (DSP) perspective to the forefront of Congress and the Administration during a time of unprecedented workforce challenges. Hardships from the pandemic and recent legislation has provided new insights and opportunities for the direct support workforce that supports people with disabilities. The NADSP recognizes the previous absence and critical importance of lifting the voices of DSPs to federal policy-makers, so that public policy can be informed by the people who are on the front-lines of supporting people with disabilities to live, work and thrive in the community. In February 2022, the NADSP will provide DSPs from all across the country comprehensive advocacy virtual training. This will lead up to a 1.5-day virtual event that will culminate with virtual meetings with Congressional leaders and staff to educate and advocate on NADSP’s public policy priorities for 2022.


Advocacy Symposium and Legislative Meetings Training

    • Wednesday, March 9th,  2:00 p.m – 5:30 pm ET

Legislative Meetings

    • Thursday, March 10th, 2022
    • After registering, all individuals will receive a confirmation that they have registered. Final meeting times will be shared on March 4th from Soapbox Consulting. Please note that your meeting time will depend on your Zip Code and Congressional District.

Event Sponsors 

Our sponsors share our values and our commitment to promoting a robust and highly qualified direct support workforce.


CareSource Logo


Amerigroup Logo

Advocacy Symposium Recordings


You can browse the full schedule of all sessions that were presented during the 2022 NADSP Advocacy Symposium by scrolling below. The session recordings are also available by clicking the ‘Watch Now’ button.

If you have any questions about the session recordings, please contact Nicole Dama.

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET Welcome and Expert Panel Discussion- The Direct Support Workforce and Public Policy: Building Quality at the Point of Interaction

 Moderator: Joseph M. Macbeth, National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals

Panelists: Michael Gamel-McCormick, Disability Policy Director for Senator Bob Casey, Chair of the Special Committee on Aging; Amy Hewitt, PhD Director, Institute on Community Integration at The University of Minnesota, Chester Finn, Special Assistant, Office for People With Developmental Disabilities and Mary Sowers, Executive Director, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services

After decades of inaction, high turnover rates and a lack of professional recognition, the direct support workforce has experienced new and unforeseen hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these challenges, people with disabilities continue to live, work and thrive in their communities due to the extraordinary efforts of direct support professionals across the country. After years of advocacy, recent attention and legislation have provided new opportunities for states to invest in better wages, training and career ladder programs for our workforce. This panel of experts will share some of the possibilities that can come from effective policy changes which address some of the long-standing issues surrounding the ”caregiving economy” and the direct support workforce.


3:15 PM – 4:00 PM ET  NADSP’s Message to Congress

Presenters: Nicole Jorwic, Chief of Advocacy and Campaigns, Caring Across Generations, Joseph Macbeth, President and CEO, National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals

This briefing will highlight NADSP’s national initiatives that are the spotlight for this year’s ask of Congress. Investments in Medicaid Home and Community Based Services: Past, Present Fight and Future goals. Though Medicaid has different names in many states, it is the system that provides access to home and community-based services AND the system that determines and pays the wages of direct support professionals. This over forty- year old system needs updates and investments, as the pandemic exposed the cracks in this system. Attendees will learn the basics of Medicaid, about the current legislation that includes billions to shore up the program and improve wages and how you can advocate at the state and federal level. Additionally,  attendees will learn the most important facts about effective implementation of workforce development initiatives authorized through legislation and about how to secure a Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) that would yield necessary data that will lead to professionalization of the field and help with recruitment and retention.This session will highlight the importance of these messages effectively being communicated in legislative meetings.

4:15 PM – 5:30 PM ET – Advocacy Baseball: Soapbox Interactive Legislative Hill Meeting Preparation with Christopher Kush

Presenter: Christopher Kush, MPP, CEO, Soapbox Consulting , Dr. Serena Lowe, Senior Director, Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Programs, CareSource,

In this 60 minute presentation, Christopher Kush will prepare advocates to get energized, motivated and ready for action. Whether you are a seasoned veteran, or this is your first advocacy day, this session will prepare you for a would be Capitol Hill day. Christopher will provide an overview of logistics of the advocacy day (March 10) with instructions on how to use Soapbox Mobile to access all materials. In the “Hook, Line and Sinker,” Chris will go over the three vital parts of an effective legislative meeting. Advocates will end this meeting understanding the common pitfalls of a meeting and how to avoid them along with how to localize and personalize your meeting. 

Legislative Meetings – Thursday, March 10, 2022

After registering, all individuals will receive a confirmation note and a separate email with a zoom link. Meeting details will arrive from Soapbox Consulting by Friday, March 4, 2022.  Please note that your meeting time will depend on your Zip Code and Congressional District.