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Search Celebrates DSP Week!

Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week is September 7-13! Governor Pat Quinn recently signed a proclamation acknowledging DSP Recognition Week in Illinois. In addition, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution designating National DSP Week.

Upon passage of the resolution, co-sponsor Senator Susan Collins said, "Each Direct Support Professional brings us closer as a nation to achieving the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act of full community participation for individuals with disabilities. These dedicated professionals work tirelessly every day of the year providing skilled and compassionate supports to individuals with disabilities." On behalf of the entire Search team, we extend a huge THANK YOU to our DSPs, who are the backbone of all we do.

DSP Spotlight: Maria is a DSP at the Kildare home in Search's Supported Living Program. She takes care of the consumers who live there and helps them to be independent to the best of their abilities. She takes pride in her work. Cleanliness is a number one priority for Maria and for the other Kildare staff. Maria is kind and warm-hearted when speaking to staff, clients, or anyone else that she encounters.

Q: Why did you become a DSP?
A: Well, my friend became a DSP before me and told me that I should think about doing it. I was working in a factory at the time. After she had been working at Search for some time and always talked about how much she loved it, I decided to give it a try. I wish that I had done it before!

Q: How long have you been a DSP?
A: On September 11 of this year, I will have been working at Search for eleven years at three different houses. The most challenging was the house where I worked overnight shifts, but I loved all of them.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about being a DSP?
A: I enjoy working with the guys. I like to help them cook and clean and do laundry. I also like taking them out to do activities. Every Sunday we all go to church and we also go grocery shopping once a week.

Q: Being a DSP is a challenging job; what keeps you motivated?
A: It's not hard, it's something like what you do in your own home. I love to talk to the guys about how their day was, and I like to ask them what is wrong when I can tell that they are not feeling well.

Q: What do you like to do outside of work?
A: I go swimming three times a week and enjoy going shopping. Otherwise I like to just keep up my house and take care of my family.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone who is thinking about being a DSP?
A: To give all of their love to the people and the job. Everyone needs kindness. You also must be focused on the job and you have to care about being clean and orderly.

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