ANCOR is the leading voice in Washington for Community Providers. For more than a half-century, ANCOR has worked to shape policy and share solutions to strengthen the ability of community-based providers to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We applaud their advocacy and thank them for helping to get the following resolution passed:

Mr. CARDIN (for himself, Ms. COLLINS, Mr. BLUMENTHAL, Mr. BROWN, Mr. CASEY, Mr. KAINE, Mr. KING, Ms. KLOBUCHAR, Mr. MENENDEZ, Ms. SMITH, Mr. VAN HOLLEN, and Ms. WARREN) submitted the following resolution;
Designating the week beginning September 11, 2022, as ‘‘National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week’’. Whereas direct care workers, including direct support professionals, 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;
Whereas direct support professionals provide essential services that ensure all individuals with disabilities are:
(1) included as a valued part of the communities in which those individuals live;
(2) supported at home, at work, and in the communities of the United States; and
(3) empowered to live with the dignity that all people of the United States deserve; Whereas, by fostering connections between individuals with disabilities and their families, friends, and communities, direct support professionals ensure that individuals with disabilities thrive, thereby avoiding more costly institutional care;
Whereas direct support professionals build close, respectful, and trusting relationships with individuals with disabilities and provide a broad range of personalized support to those individuals, including:
(1) helping individuals make person-centered choices;
(2) assisting with personal care, meal preparation, medication management, and other aspects of daily living;
(3) assisting individuals in accessing the community and securing competitive, integrated employment;
(4) providing transportation to school, work, religious, and recreational activities;
(5) helping with general daily affairs, such as assisting with financial matters, medical appointments, and personal interests;
(6) assisting individuals in the transition from isolated or congregate settings or services to living in the communities of their choice; and
(7) helping to keep individuals with disabilities safe and healthy during the COVID–19 pandemic;
Whereas there is a critical and increasing shortage of direct support professionals throughout the United States, a crisis which has been exacerbated by the COVID–19 pandemic, bringing uncertainty and risk to individuals with disabilities;
Whereas direct support professionals do not have their own Standard Occupational Classification for the purposes of federal data collection, which includes data produced by
the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor;
Whereas the direct care workforce, including direct support
professionals, is expected to grow more than any other occupation in the United States;
Whereas many direct support professionals:
(1) are the primary financial providers for their families;
(2) are hardworking, taxpaying citizens who provide a critical service in the United States; and
(3) continue to earn low wages, receive inadequate benefits, and have limited opportunities for advancement, resulting in high turnover and vacancy rates that adversely affect the quality of support, safety, and health of individuals with disabilities; and
Whereas the Supreme Court of the United States, in
Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999):
(1) recognized the importance of the deinstitutionalization of, and community-based services for, individuals with disabilities; and
(2) held that, under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S. 12101 et seq.), a State must provide person-centered, community-based service options to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate:
(1) designates the week beginning September 2 11, 2022, as ‘‘National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week’’;
(2) recognizes the dedication and vital role of direct support professionals in enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities;
(3) appreciates the contribution of direct support professionals in supporting individuals with disabilities and their families in the United States;
(4) commends direct support professionals for being integral to the provision of long-term support and services for individuals with disabilities;
(5) encourages the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor to collect data specific
to direct support professionals; and
(6) finds that the successful implementation of public policies affecting individuals with disabilities in the United States can depend on the dedication of direct support professionals