This year's DSP week was held September 10th-16th. The Arc celebrated their direct support staff throughout the week in various ways. The theme this year was “Nacho Average DSP”.
The Arc Administration provided a nacho bar lunch to over 500 support staff at four of the divisions; Springfield, Monett, Kansas City and Joplin. During these luncheons staff were able to participate in fun games like sombrero ring toss and bust the piñata. Staff were also entered to receive door prizes and were given Sonic gift cards upon arrival.
Management staff over each team also held parties throughout the week at their various locations to say thank you to their specific teams. Each staff was given the chance to relax and enjoy a break from work for a moment.
The Arc employs roughly 1,000 Direct Support Professionals. Newly hired Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are required to complete over 40 hours of training including: Orientation, Medication Administration, CPR, First Aid, Mandt, Abuse and Neglect, Documentation and additional specialized trainings specific to the individuals they work with. Behavior Support Technicians (BSTs) work with individuals with autism or a dual diagnosis. They complete additional classes in Applied Behavioral Analysis principles and topics specific to their unique needs. In addition to classes, training for new support staff include on-the-job training with shadow shifts and weekly meetings with their supervisors.
As the back bone of this organization, The Arc continues to make improvements and strives to recognize its DSPs for the important job they do every day. DSP week is one small way The Arc can truly say thank you.