According to nonprofit Mosaic (www.mosaicinfo.org), the role of Direct Support Professionals in supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to function in their homes and be part of their communities is vital. That’s why Mosaic in Southeast Nebraska–a nonprofit, whole-person healthcare organization–is celebrating their Direct Support Professionals who serve people with IDD during National Direct Support Professional Week, September 11-17.
“We want to raise awareness that Direct Support Professionals are the heart of what Mosaic does to fulfill our purpose ‘to love and serve’ and achieve our mission to ‘relentlessly pursue opportunities that empower people,’” said Mosaic Executive Director Nic Batterton. “Mosaic and other service providers couldn’t do what we do without them.”
While rewarding, the work of a Direct Support Professional can also be physically demanding and emotionally draining. While Mosaic in Southeast Nebraska serves many people who have a higher degree of independence, the nonprofit also serves others who have limited mobility–therefore needing assistance with activities of everyday life, such as dressing, getting in and out of bed or a chair, using the restroom or bathing.
Mosaic advocates equal rights not only for people with IDD, but also rights for its healthcare workforce, including Direct Support Professionals. Cheryl Wicks, Mosaic’s Vice President of Government Relations, leads these efforts for the 2,000-member “Mosaic Allied Voices” volunteers.
“Almost 20 million adults in our country need assistance for self-care and other daily tasks,” said Wicks. “This figure is expected to rise as those over 65 years of age will increase dramatically in the coming decades. This indicates there’s a critical and growing need for even more Direct Support Professionals, and that’s why we staunchly support legislation such as ‘H.R. 2999’ which will give DSPs additional training to advance their careers.”
According to Batterton, “For most Direct Support Professionals, their work isn’t a job, it’s often a calling. We have some DSPs who have loved and served people with IDD for many years because they know they’re making a positive difference for others. It’s a selfless act–and that’s why they should be held up, celebrated, and rewarded.”
Mosaic reaches across 13 states in more than 700 communities and provides support to more than 5,200 people. Services empower people with disabilities, mental and behavioral health needs, and autism, as well as aging adults to live their best life. Mosaic is an affiliated social ministry organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a member of Lutheran Services in America. For more information about Mosaic in Southeast Nebraska and become a part of this mission, visit www.mosaicinfo.org/get-involved/advocate.