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South Dakota honors frontline workers who support people with disabilities


PIERRE, S.D. (KELO AM) – Gov. Dennis Daugaard is recognizing the important efforts of those who work closely with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by proclaiming Sept. 7-13 as Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week in South Dakota.

Direct support professionals (DSPs) are the primary providers of publicly funded long-term supports and services for individuals with disabilities. They work at the 19 Community Support Provider agencies throughout the state as well as at the South Dakota Developmental Center in Redfield.

Thousands of South Dakotans with disabilities are able to live and work as independently as possible because of the essential supports provided by DSPs. They also help keep individuals with disabilities connected to their families, friends and communities.

“Direct support professionals form the backbone of South Dakota’s community supports and services,” said South Dakota Department of Human Services Secretary Gloria Pearson. “It’s important for South Dakota to be able to recruit, train and retain a highly qualified DSP workforce and to recognize the skilled and compassionate support they provide.”

Various programs, activities and ceremonies will take place across South Dakota Sept. 7-13 during Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week to honor the state’s long-term supports and services workforce. U.S. Senate Resolution 532 has also established the week beginning Sept. 7 as National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week to celebrate DSPs across the country.

About DHS

The South Dakota Department of Human Services’ mission is to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities, in partnership with its stakeholders, through the programs and services offered by its divisions. Learn more by visiting the department’s website, dhs.sd.gov, and viewing the DHS Strategic Plan.