Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act

Disability Support

In a significant stride toward recognizing the vital contributions of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), the Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act has achieved unanimous approval in the U.S. Senate. This bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME), marks a pivotal moment for the DSP workforce. Let’s delve into the details of this groundbreaking bill.

The DSP Workforce: Unsung Heroes

DSPs play an essential role in supporting individuals with disabilities. Their responsibilities encompass a wide range of tasks, from assisting with communication to providing on-the-job coaching and addressing daily living needs. These dedicated professionals ensure that individuals with disabilities can live independently and actively participate in their communities.

The Challenge: Workforce Shortage

Despite their critical role, DSPs face significant challenges. A 2016 study revealed a national turnover rate of 45 percent among DSPs1. Recruiting and retaining these essential workers remains a struggle for home- and community-based service providers. However, a lack of accurate data exacerbates the problem.

The SOC Solution

The Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act aims to address this issue head-on. By urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to create a unique SOC code specifically for DSPs, the bill seeks to:

  1. Improve Data Collection: A separate SOC for DSPs will provide more accurate information on workforce trends, turnover rates, and regional shortages. States and federal agencies can use this data to identify areas of need.

  2. Targeted Workforce Training: With better data, targeted training programs can be implemented to equip DSPs with the skills needed to meet local workforce demands.

  3. Raise Awareness: Recognizing DSPs’ unique role will raise awareness of their critical contributions and advocate for workforce support.

Next Steps

Having passed the Senate, the bill now moves to the House. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the companion bill, H.R. 2941. It’s time for action! Use our action alert email campaign to educate your Representatives about the importance of the DSP SOC. Together, we can strengthen the DSP workforce and enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities.

The Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act represents a beacon of hope for DSPs. Let’s rally behind this legislation, advocate for its passage in the House, and ensure that DSPs receive the recognition and support they truly deserve.

SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS Most Important Policy Leaders to Tag:
Sen. Winnie Brinks: Sen. Sarah Anthony: Rep. Joe Tate: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer:


  1. ANCOR Capitol Correspondence - Senate Passes Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act
  2. Senator Hassan’s Bipartisan Bill to Recognize the Role of Direct Support Professionals
  3. Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act - Senator Maggie Hassan

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Please Contact:
Joe DiBenedetto
Lambert & Co.
(516) 637-0597

Matt Friedman
Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications
(248) 762-1430

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