September 12-18, 2021: Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week

WHEREAS, direct support professionals, including direct care workers, personal assistants, personal attendants, in- home support workers, and paraprofessionals, are key to providing publicly funded supports and services for children and adults with serious emotional disorders and mental health needs with disabilities; and,


WHEREAS, direct support professionals provide essential support that ensures individuals with disabilities are included as a valued part of their communities, supported both at home and at work, and empowered to live with the dignity all people deserve; and,


WHEREAS, all communities have a stake in ensuring individuals thrive through the connections with their families, friends, and communities, strengthened by direct support professionals; and,


WHEREAS, direct support professionals must build close, respectful, and trusting relationships with individuals; and,


WHEREAS, direct support professionals provide a broad range of individualized support to individuals with disabilities, including assistance with personal care, appointments, medication administration, preparation of meals, and other general daily matters, as well as transportation to school, work, religious, and recreational activities; and,


WHEREAS, there is a documented and increasing shortage of direct support professionals throughout the United States; and,


WHEREAS, during this week, we should recognize and honor direct support professionals for their commitment to providing important services to people with disabilities in our state and advocate for their living wages, benefits, and opportunities for advancement, so they can continue to provide the highest quality of care for the people they support;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 12-18, 2021, as Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week in Michigan.