September 13 - 19, 2020: 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 communities, supported both at home and at work, and empowered to live with the dignity all people 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 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 assistance with financial matters, appointments, medication, preparation of meals, and other general daily affairs as well as transportation to school, work, religious, and recreational activities; and,

 

WHEREAS, there is a documented 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 as well as individuals with functional limitations and in helping with the transition 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 care for the people they support;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 13-19, 2020, as Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week in Michigan.