Ability Network of Delaware Hosts the 10th Annual DSP Day Celebration on Aug. 29

Ability Network of Delaware (A.N.D.), a nonprofit association founded in 1988 to represent community service providers, today announced that legislators, advocates, families and friends will join hundreds of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) at the 10th annual DSP Day celebration on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. At the awards luncheon held that day, DSPs will be honored for the invaluable role they play in providing human services to Delaware’s citizens.

The keynote speaker at the event will be Peter Leidy, an internationally-known trainer, consultant and presenter. For almost 20 years, Peter worked for Options in Community Living, a supported living agency in Madison, Wisconsin that pioneered person-centered services in the United States. His roles included direct support, service coordination, recruiting and supporting DSPs, community building and administrative responsibilities. Attorney General Kathy Jennings will be introducing the DSPs who received honorable mention and will be speaking briefly before she begins announcing names of this year’s nominees, each of whom will receive a certificate of recognition signed by Lieutenant Governor Hall-Long and Thomas Cook, Executive Director of A.N.D.. 

“Direct support professionals go above and beyond in their jobs every day, in communities all over Delaware, to support people with disabilities and those receiving treatment for mental health and substance use disorders,” said Cook. “They are an endangered workforce that is threatened by chronic underfunding by the state. DSP Day is an opportunity to show our commitment to them and to call attention to the need for full funding of all the human services provided under contracts with the State of Delaware to address unsustainable staff turnover and to increase program quality.”

The 2019 Champion Award will be presented to Sen. Stephanie Hansen. The following individuals will be recognized for their outstanding service: Rebecca Anderson with Autism Delaware; Jennifer Cossa with Easterseals of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore; Barbara Kurtz with Elwyn Delaware; Alice Mugo with Mosaic; and John Harris, Jr. with RI International. Each of them will receive a peer-voted award, which includes a $250 Visa gift card.

The event will take place at The Chase Center on the Riverfront at 815 Justison St. in Wilmington, Del. A DSP Wellness Expo begins at 10:30 a.m., which offers services and programs that will benefit the health, family support and education of the DSPs who attend. The luncheon and awards ceremony begin at 12 p.m.

For more information about the Direct Support Professionals Day event, please contact Ashley Read at ashley@scribewise.com.

About Ability Network of Delaware

Ability Network of Delaware (A.N.D.) is the voice of disability service providers in Delaware. Our constituents include organizations serving over 100,000 Delawareans. We advocate for a strong system of community-based care and broad implementation of services that will allow people with disabilities and those in need of treatment for mental health and substance use disorders to live more independent and productive lives. Membership is open to organizations that provide direct services, advocacy, and/or educational services.