Thursday, September 17, 2009

Delarc Celebrates National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week

There aren’t many people who can say their job gives them an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. But at The Arc of Delaware County (Delarc), it is a daily occurrence.

Every day, Direct Support Professionals at Delarc work to enrich the quality of life of the people they serve and their families. They work to reach dreams, achieve independence, and create opportunities for people to become contributing members of their communities.

In recognition of the invaluable role of Direct Support Professionals (DSP) in enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities, the U.S. Senate unanimously voted to designate the week beginning September 14 as “National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week.” Sponsored by Senator Ben Nelson, this week honors these employees and the tremendous differences they make in other’s lives each day. It also provides a special opportunity to celebrate and recognize the direct support workforce for their dedication, hard work and commitment to serve those with disabilities.

Pam Walker, who provides food service training in Delarc’s cafeteria, shares, “All I’ve ever been was just a cook… and now I’m so much more. If you’re having a bad day and you come here, it’s not a bad day anymore. I’m thankful I got this job so I can help others do what I do. It’s a great joy.” Jerry D’Alto, a DSP at Delarc, added, “Helping people with disabilities achieve meaningful and fulfilling lives is the most rewarding work I can think of.”

Another DSP at Delarc, Lyndsay Young, explains, “For me, it’s all about making a difference in someone’s life. I get to watch their dreams come true and experience it with them. To help someone become successful is empowering in itself.”