Riverside recognizes Direct Support Professional Week

Provided photo

DSP Tina Osgood (right) as she watches Paula Bertrand of Troy work on a craft project at Riverside.

MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Riverside) recognized the recent Direct Support Professional (DSP) Week, expressing its appreciation for DSPs who help Riverside’s clients live independently and participate in their communities.

“Direct Support Professional (DSP) Week is a week-long celebration in recognition of the dedication and accomplishments of outstanding Direct Support Professionals and their vital contribution to communities across the country,” Riverside Superintendent Brian Green said. Green explained Congress has passed several resolutions over the years reaffirming the second week of September for this celebration.

“We have more than 450 DSPs at work in Miami County providing support to help people in all facets of life,” Green said. “Whether they’re an in-home caregiver, an adult day program specialist, job coach or provider of transportation, DSPs are the heartbeat of services for people with developmental disabilities.”

DSPs are not Riverside employees, but they contract with Riverside in order to help Riverside’s clients function independently in a variety of ways, such providing help and guidance so clients can live in their homes; providing support for daily activities like cooking, dressing, washing, and so on; helping clients with money management, transportation, and support during community activities; teaching various life skills; and more.

“While they are not directly employed by the Miami County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Riverside), their work is critical to the success of the more than 1,100 people we serve. We celebrated local DSPs this week by sending them cards and sharing personal spotlights on Facebook. We cannot thank them enough for their service and dedication,” Brian Green said.

Tina Osgood of Troy, who is employed through Unity Care Group, found a new passion in her DSP career.

“I fell into this profession when I was looking for something to do after my husband passed away. Working with Paula makes me feel like I have a purpose. Watching her try new things she’s never done is a huge joy!” Osgood said.

Other DSPs expressed finding fulfillment in their careers, as well as enjoyment in connecting with their clients.

“As a DSP, I’m privileged to work with some awesome individuals, and I am confident in knowing they have someone in their lives that truly has their best interest in mind,” Brandon Bierly of Troy, who is an independent provider, said.

“I chose my career as a DSP because helping those who need it most is what I enjoy! I have a career that is so rewarding!” Sandie Meed of Piqua, who is also an independent provider, said.

Dana Shawler of Piqua, who is an independent provider, discussed how she enjoyed helping clients learn skills and become independent, as well as how this position offered her flexibility in her own life.

“It is an amazing feeling getting a new client who often times are just barely making it. Fast forward 12 months, and they have a savings account and are able to go on vacations and buy items that they want. On the selfish side, I love the flexibility I have being an independent provider. I am able to go on vacations with my husband and spend as much time as I want with my three grandchildren,” Shawler said.

For more information about becoming a DSP, visit DSPOhio.org.

For more information about Riverside and its services, visit www.riversidedd.org.