Elected Officials Recognize Unsung Heroes Supporting People With Disability

State and Congressional Representatives Honor National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week


Contact: Adam Hymans, 215.796.7759, ahymans@spininc.org

Photo (credit – Terry Neumeister): https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ro5f42y8s8qnefx/AABy0rmvRhSydPqCCErcCLxla?dl=0


PHILADELPHIA, September 12, 2016 – The job of a direct support professional is both demanding and in demand; more than five million direct care workers will be needed by 2020, according to The American Network of Community Options and Resources, a national trade association for disability service providers. National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week (September 11 – 17) honors the contributions of these professionals and the critical role they play in supporting the lives of people with autism and intellectual disability. State Representatives Kevin Boyle and Martina White of Northeast Philadelphia; State Representative Gene DiGirolamo of lower Bucks County; and Anthony Lucker, Congressman Brendan Boyle’s Director of Community Affairs, headlined a kick-off celebration at SPIN (Special People in Northeast) for many of these unsung heroes.


Representatives Boyle and White presented SPIN with an official citation, emphasizing the support of many in Harrisburg for the work of “DSPs.” “Ultimately, a society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens, said Representative Boyle. “The fact that you’re here on a daily basis—helping people—speaks to your character. What you do is absolutely invaluable.”


National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week does more than celebrate the contributions of DSPs; it calls upon state governments to back that recognition with adequate funding to support a family-sustaining wage. The average direct support professional in Pennsylvania earns barely above the federal poverty level.  The elected officials present pledged to change that. “The least we can do in Harrisburg is to fight for a budget that provides you with a family-sustaining wage, said Representative Boyle. “What you do is so critically important. We get it. You have bi-partisan support.”


About SPIN

SPIN provides the highest quality, people-first services and support for children and adults with autism and intellectual disabilities. SPIN supports more than 3,000 infants, children, and adults across Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. Find out more at http://spininc.org/.