September 8 - 15, 2019: Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week

WHEREAS, direct support professionals, including direct care workers, personal assistants, personal attendants, in home support workers, and paraprofessionals, are key to providing publicly funded long-term support and services for millions of individuals with disabilities; and,


WHEREAS, direct support professionals provide essential support that ensures individuals with disabilities are included as a valued part of their community, supported at home, at work, and in the communities of our state, and empowered to live with the dignity all people of our state and nation deserve; and,


WHEREAS, all communities have a stake in ensuring individuals with disabilities thrive through the connections of their families, friends, and communities, fostered by direct support professionals to avoid more costly institutional care; and,


WHEREAS, direct support professionals assist individuals with disabilities by helping them make person-centered choices that lead to meaningful, productive lives; and,


WHEREAS, direct support professionals must build close, respectful, and trusting relationships with individuals with disabilities; and,


WHEREAS, direct support professionals provide a broad range of individualized support to individuals with disabilities, including assisting with the preparation of meals, helping with medication, assisting with daily living, assisting with access to the environment around them, providing transportation to school work, religious, and recreational activities, and helping with general daily affairs, such as assisting with financial matters and medical appointments; and,


WHEREAS, there is a documented critical and increasing shortage of direct support professionals throughout the United States; and,


WHEREAS, direct support professionals are a critical element in supporting individuals who are receiving health care services for severe chronic health conditions and individuals with functional limitations, and helping them to transition successfully from medical events to post-acute care and long-term support and services; and,


WHEREAS, during this week, we should recognize and honor direct support professionals for their commitment to providing important service to people with disabilities in our state and advocate for their living wages, benefits, and opportunities for advancement, so they can continue to provide the highest quality of support for their patients;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 8 - 15, 2019, as Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week in Michigan.