U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D) to Give Keynote Address at the A.N.D. Direct Support Professionals Day Celebration on Aug. 30

Ability Network of Delaware (A.N.D.), founded in 1988 to represent disability service providers and Delawareans with disabilities and their families, today announced that U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D) will join hundreds of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) at the annual Direct Support Professionals Day on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018. The luncheon honors DSPs for the invaluable role they play in supporting people with disabilities and provides them with the opportunity to connect and network with their colleagues in the disability services community.

Rep. Rochester served as the deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services in 1993 and as the Secretary of the Department of Labor in 1998. With her election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2017, she became the first woman and the first African-American to represent Delaware in Congress.

The event will take place at The Chase Center on the Riverfront at 815 Justison St. in Wilmington, Del. The DSP Wellness Expo begins at 10:30 a.m. and the luncheon and awards ceremony beings at 12 p.m.

“Direct Support Professionals Day is a unique opportunity to recognize the tireless efforts of the dedicated professionals who provide disability services in Delaware,” said Thomas Cook, Executive Director of A.N.D. “This year’s celebration will be especially momentous since it comes on the heels of passing the McNesby Act, which marks Delaware’s commitment to providing full funding for services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Among this year’s honorees are Rep. Kevin Hensley (R) and Sen. Bryan Townsend (D), who will each be presented with the 2018 Champion Award in recognition of their work to pass the McNesby Act.

“Both Rep. Hensley and Sen. Townsend were the keys to the progress our community made this year,” said Cook. “Without their support and sponsorship of the McNesby Act, our member organizations would not be able to continue providing the care that people with disabilities need to live and flourish as citizens in Delaware.”

In addition to the 2018 Champion Award that will be presented at the luncheon, five DSPs will be recognized for their outstanding service, receiving peer-voted awards in the categories of leader, advocate, peer, star and community excellence. Direct Support Professionals Day includes a wellness expo offering services and programs that will benefit the health, family support and education of DSPs in addition to the luncheon and awards ceremony.

For more information about the Direct Support Professionals Day luncheon and to request tickets to attend, please contact Carolyn Petrak at 302.622.9177.