Policy Papers

NADSP Policy Papers

Cross-Disability Synthesis White Paper


This white paper titled ‘A Synthesis of Direct Service Workforce Demographics and Challenges Across Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities, Aging, Physical Disabilities, and Behavioral Health‘ provides an overview of the direct support workforce challenges across disability sectors and it provides a call-to-action regarding these issues that is agreed upon and applicable across disability sectors. It was developed as an activity of the national DSW Resource Center that is funded by CMS. (2008)

Using Medicaid HCBS or ICF/MR Funding To Pay For DSP Training and Credentialing


Many states face challenges in ensuring DSPs have adequate professional preparation to promote the health and well-being of Medicaid recipients. To confront this, some states are investing programs for DSPs to create career paths and retention incentives. A persistent barrier is the ability to pay for training and related wage incentives. One promising strategy as outlined in ‘Using Medicaid Home and Community Based Services or ICF/MR Funding to Pay for Direct Support Staff Training and Credentialing Programs,‘ is the structuring of Medicaid reimbursement rates to support the human resource development interventions. (2009)

Other Policy Papers & Resources

Presenting Public Testimony

This document titled ‘Presenting Public Testimony: You Know More than They Do! Its Just a Matter of Getting Your Point Across,’ provides a helpful guide for preparing and presenting testimony at a public hearing. it shares general advice, information about preparing testimony, as well as some writing and speaking tips. There are also additional resources included to support people in presenting public testimony.

‘Making Your Case’ Advocacy Course

As stated in ‘Making Your Case,’ this self-study course explains “Grassroots participation is the under-girding of a democratic society. Those who choose to lobby – “to take their case” directly to their elected representatives – represent one very important form of grassroots participation. Therefore, it is your right to lobby. Some would say it is your responsibility.” Developed by The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, this course is designed to help people with developmental disabilities and their families create positive change through advocacy.

State Policy Papers

If you have an idea for state level initiatives contact your state affiliate. Feel free to look at what others are doing and think about how you may be able to replicate the activities in your state.

Minnesota – Testimony Supporting A PCA Training Bill

In the ‘Testimony on OLA-PCA Bill,’ Bridget Siljander, President of the Direct Support Professional Association of Minnesota (DSPAM), testifies that “standardizing PCA services will bolster this essential workforce and will lower turnover rates, which are as high as 200% in the direct care and support field, which includes PCAs. Turnover is extremely expensive, so controlling it, and creating more professional buy-in for PCAs, will result in cost-savings. Furthermore, since agencies will be responsible for providing the training, requiring standardized training of PCAs will not cost the State more money, and will save money in the long-term.”

Minnesota – Testimony Opposing Proposed Budget Cuts To PCA Services

In the ‘Testimony Opposing Proposed Budget Cuts To PCA Services,’ Bridget Siljander, President of the Direct Support Professional Association of Minnesota (DSPAM), testifies that “DSPAM is opposed to a number of the Governor’s recommended budget cuts to Disability Services and PCA services. My comments today will focus on the proposed changes to the PCA program. I am the face and voice of one of thousands of PCAs in Minnesota. You probably won’t see many of our faces or hear many of our voices because we are a marginalized and underrepresented workforce. DSPAM members believe that the PCA program can’t afford cuts and PCAs can’t afford reductions to wages.”

New York – Proposed Budget Provisions Testimony

In the ‘Testimony Over Proposed Budget Provisions in New York,’ Theresa Laws, DSP and member of the Direct Support Professional Alliance of NYS, states “I urge your support of certain provisions within the proposed budget. In the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities’ Budget Briefing Booklet, Commission Ritter speaks of the need to recognize and support the direct professional workforce as it holds the key to providing high quality person‐centered supports and services for persons with disabilities. DSPANYS is pleased to see and urges your support of the budget’s provisions for a retroactive and prospective Medicaid trend factor, and an additional phase of OMRDD’s Health Care Initiative.”