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Director Davis Celebrates DSPs

DODD Director Jeff Davis conveys his admiration and support for direct support professionals (DSPs) and recognizes 2020 DSP Recognition Week.

Whether you are a brand new DSP or an experienced one, recognizing that behavior serves as communication leads to increased observational skills, knowledge, and empathy toward those we support. In this online training module, you will hear from people with developmental disabilities, DSPs, and experts on the importance of noticing that all behavior is a form of communication. Visit didyounotice.org to watch a free 20-minute online module for DSPs.


Hello, my name is Jeff Davis, director of the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities. This message today is for our direct support professionals, or DSPs. Wherever you are across the state of Ohio, where ever setting whoever you're serving, this is specific to you. So I want to say to begin, how much I appreciate what you're doing, genuinely and sincerely what you do every day matters. I do hope that you hear that all the time continuously. Perhaps you don't hear it often enough. But certainly in times of this virus, I want you to know that your commitment to those that you support is meaningful. It matters and it's appreciated. It's appreciated throughout our system. It's appreciated by the families that have the individuals that you support, and and most importantly, right for those individuals that you support in this time, your commitment to them is immeasurable. And so I want you to know that and know that the entire system is behind you as you do this. But I know it's a challenge. I know it can be a challenge. We're asking you, right sometimes to work long shifts, we're asking you to make sacrifices with your own family or other kinds of things to do this, to ultimately, as long as we coexist with a virus, we're asking you to protect those that you serve, while at the same time you're encouraging them, supporting them, offering them the skills that they need, and all of the different pieces to the puzzle, the wide variety pieces of the puzzle that you bring to the table. So thank you for that. And know that we are thinking about you continually, continually, and that you have our support, and you have our affection and our respect. So if I can for a moment because there's more I want to talk about if I can you permit me to ask a little bit of a favor, I would ask that you continue right, continue to do the kinds of basics with respect to precautions that you do now, wear your mask, perhaps that's tiring after time, but wear a mask, if you would wash your hands, all those things distance, that you know helps, that we all know helps, and that when you do it, it makes a fundamental difference in protecting against the virus, not just for those that you support, but for you as well. So we deeply appreciate that as well. But I want to talk a little bit to you about where we kind of want to go into the future, right. So I know that what you bring to the table when you do your job well what you bring to the table is a set of skills that is very, very unique.

And I want you to understand that over time. So what you do, whether it's the patience and the kindness, you know, in the interest, the active interest in the individual support is unique. Now, those three are essential, but there's much, much more. So I'm going to talk to you about a vision and a future. As director, I have an opportunity to think about you, and what you do, continually, or even all the time. And I understand that the job that you perform, and how you perform it, perhaps matters the most, that our system depends on what you do then is that interaction, your interaction with the person that you support, and makes our system really good, or perhaps not as much. And so we've got to find ways continually to support you. And I know that money, it can be a piece of that puzzle, but there is much, much more to that to the work that you do. And what we want to do as we move forward is think about that, think about what we can do to make you feel supported. I think that the set of skills that you bring to the table, or that you can bring to the table is unique. I think that uniqueness can offer you a sense of satisfaction and pride, because it is a particular set of skills and understanding how to support a person to understand all the pieces of the puzzle that come with that can give you, I hope, and inherit satisfaction but also offers you opportunities in wherever you want. We want to empower you. It is our goal to empower you. It's our obligation to empower you to understand, right that that set of skills that you have in a variety of ways in which we can help build them, you know, with you and within you, gives you multiple opportunities and that sort of pride that accompanies that. And you can take that set of skills wherever you want to go. But the key is to empower you in what you do and how you do it. And so our task as a department as the state with other parts of our system, right is to get down that path with you. so that you can understand and can explain to others, this is exactly what I do. And this is how I do it. And I know how good I am and what I do with the goal, of course for all of us, all of us, that I can continually get better at what I do. So we're going to work with you in the future to help you both identify that set of skills, incorporate those set of skills, learn them, write what you already bring to the table added to what we can help you with, right, I hope will give you sort of that internal comfort and satisfaction, as I said, that you are indeed remarkable in your own way. Right. And that's our task. And we're going to do that with you. So we're going to talk a lot more about this. If you hang in there with us. We're going to do a series of these videos with you and for you. Right, it talks specifically about what the future looks like, and how we can continue to find ways to empower you and see For you, and so that you, right, you know how good you are. That's our goal. So if you wouldn't mind if you have a moment or two I know with all that you have going on and all of your challenges, right scheduling and other things. We've attached a video here today called Did you notice, if you take a look, it's about 20 minutes. If you want to watch it in pieces or in parts, and ultimately the whole thing, it begins to give you a sense of some of those really important things that matter. But there's more. And we're going to work on that now what I'm saying and what I'm offering and what I want to do with you what we want to do with you will take time because it's a journey. But ultimately it's an investment in you, each of you to the extent that you want that's an investment because what you do matters the most. And I want you to know that so thank you for everything that you do and we will be right we will talk with you shortly.