The Implications of an Industry in Peril

There’s been so much written about the Direct Support Professional workforce crisis. The most compelling and comprehensive document was explained by the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities in a 2017 report America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis: Effects on People with Intellectual Disabilities, Families, Communities, and the U.S. Economy.

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Finding The Right Solution

Hiring and Training Direct Support Professionals (DSPs)

Every year there is a growing demand for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) within an industry plagued with high turnover rates. “In 2003, according to the US Department of Health & Human Services, there were 874,000 full-time DSPs assisting individuals with intellectual disabilities, autism, and/or behavioral health concerns in various settings.[1]” It is estimated that by 2020 the demand for DSPs will increase to 1.2 million, which is a 40 percent increase in little more than 17 years. We are in a DSP Crisis!


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Free training and job placement for Direct Support Professionals

Do you like helping others? Employers have openings for people who want to do the important work of supporting adults who have special needs.

To prepare candidates for employment as a Direct Support Professional, Optonome has developed a free direct support professional certification program (DSP123) based on state Regulations currently available in Pennsylvania. 

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The Role of the Program Specialist

A Program Specialist, also known as autism specialists or applied behavioral analysts, ensure that the services outlined in the individual support plans are executed upon and within compliance. They serve as the liaison between the individual receiving care, their families/caregivers, physicians and internal and external agencies. Read More…

Healthcare Standards and Compliance

Healthcare standards and compliance requirements affect any size organization. Whether you are a single provider or an organization with two or more providers, the requirements are the same. Beyond the standard business regulations outlined by OSHA and the EEOC, the Department of Public Welfare and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) outline the standards for home and community-based care organizations. Read More…

Understanding The ISP

Adults with autism and intellectual disabilities have a right to live independently like any other adult. The support they need varies by individual depending on the scope of their disability and their support network. Roughly 1% of the general population has an intellectual disability and 10% of those people have autism spectrum disorder or autistic traits. Care plans for individuals with disabilities called, Individual Support Plans (ISPs), are designed to meet their unique needs. Read More…

The Need for Cheaper Family Health Care Management

Providing home and community care to an individual with autism and intellectual disabilities in need is complex and expensive. A single person could require up to five hours of weekly care to assist with daily activities. Other individuals require as many as twenty-four hours of care with round the clock care of two people at a time to assist with hourly tasks and manage crises situations.

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