First, DODD will temporarily waive the requirement that DSPs must have a high school diploma or GED. This waiver will be effective from September 17, 2021, through September 30, 2022. Employees without a high school diploma or GED cannot be certified to administer medications.
Age Requirement for DSPs
Second, through a similar waiver, DODD is allowing the temporary use of direct support assistants. People aged 16 and 17 can be hired to perform more limited duties as direct support assistants. This will enable agencies to hire applicants who are passionate about supporting people with developmental disabilities but who were previously unable to work in the field due to the age requirement. As the direct support assistants enter the workforce as adults, they will already have the knowledge and skills necessary to continue to improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities.
Direct support assistants cannot provide intimate personal care or administer medications and must always work with a DSP that meets all requirements in the rule.
Effective Dates of System Wide Waivers
Both waivers will be effective September 17, 2021 - September 30, 2022. This provides us time to assess the success of these actions and determine if they should be continued or modified. Providers will be required to report information regarding DSPs employed under either of these options to determine long-term effectiveness. All service providers can begin using the provisions of these waivers, and all DSPs previously granted waivers for these purposes are automatically a part of this process as well.
Additional Important Information
Click here for additional guidance on these waivers.