Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities

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Direct Support Professional Recognition Week

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This year Direct Support Professional Recognition Week will be celebrated September 11-17. Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) provide direct care to some of our most vulnerable citizens, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

DSPs work specifically with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). A DSP is someone who not only helps the individual perform tasks, but teaches them to perform it on their own. The DSPs assist the client with a variety of tasks, such as cooking and cleaning, keeping a safe living space, medication administration, and much more. Daily responsibilities for DSPs vary depending on the needs of the client, so it is important that a DSP be flexible and well rounded.

DSPs provide a vital service to some of Florida’s most vulnerable. In June 2022, Florida Governor DeSantis signed the Freedom First budget for Fiscal Year 2022-2023. With the support of Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature, DSPs received a pay increase to $15 per hour to be effective no later than October 1.

APD Director Barbara Palmer said, “APD is excited to announce these record high rates for our vital service providers. We appreciate Governor DeSantis’ commitment in supporting people with disabilities and their service providers. These rate increases for our valued Direct Support Professionals will help them with the recent increases in the cost of living and reward them for their excellent care to Floridians with disabilities.”

We hope you join us in celebrating DSPs this September, but we also want to encourage you to celebrate them each and every day. Reach out to a DSP in your life and tell them you support them, let them know they are valued, and let them know their work matters to so many.

To watch a video message from APD Director Palmer to our DSPs, follow this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeRML5rPwiY

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