What is a Direct Support Professional?

A DSP is someone who assists individuals who are living with physical, neurological, intellectual, and developmental disabilities. Those who perform direct support professional work are critical in helping the people they support become as independent as possible in the home, community, school, and workplace.

The main role of the DSP is to work in partnership alongside individuals with disabilities in achieving life goals such as succeeding in a job, going to school, cooking meals, and other self-care activities. The extra bonus of the DSP role is that your work contributes to creating a more diverse community.  

4 Great Resources to Find Direct Support Professional Roles 

1. In-Person Hiring Events

These are great opportunities to meet face-to-face with the professionals you would be working with as a DSP. If you’re new to the field, you can easily ask questions and get immediate answers about direct support professional responsibilities. There’s also a certain energy or impression that’s easier to get during in-person hiring events.

Advocates for Life Skills and Opportunity (ALSO) hosts in-person hiring events to help job candidates get a first-hand look at the many direct support professional jobs available. We’ll give you an accurate picture of the varied job duties of a direct support professional and what it’s like to support individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Bookmark this Careers Page and stay up to date about our next hiring event.

2. The ALSO Career Page

If your passion is helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to achieve goals and live their best possible life, the many direct support professional career paths at ALSO will be an exciting journey for you.

DSPs at ALSO have an essential role by providing individual-focused disability support services and working with people in their day to day lives. DSP job duties include employment readiness, self-care, recreational pursuits, and community mobility. The DSP role can even include helping those we support in artistic endeavors.  Check out this article about some of the ALSO resident artists!

Many other careers are available in addition to DSP jobs:

  • Program Manager: Have you excelled as a DSP and want to take your career an exciting step further? Are you good at motivating and training others? Become a Program Manager that leads a team of DSPs.
  • Employment Lead: These professionals are responsible for helping individuals search for and apply for integrative employment of their choosing. They also work with employers to ensure effective communication and job success.

Go to the ALSO Career Page to learn why working with us is one of the most rewarding and exciting career opportunities.

3. Getting DSP Jobs in Oregon

Do you live in Oregon or are you interested in moving to our great state?  You’ll find many job resources as well a great deal of information on what it’s like to live in Oregon:

Government Related Sites

  • WorkSource Oregon – A statewide partnership with Oregon Employment Department and state, local, and nonprofit agencies. For both job seekers and employers in Oregon.

Facebook

This might be a more casual way to learn about DSP jobs. Try going to Facebook and doing a search for Oregon Job Groups and strike up some informative conversations about the role of a direct support professional.

4.  Job Search Engines

  • Indeed – Check out our Indeed page here.
  • myCNAjobs.com – Find direct support professional roles by zip code.
  • Handshake – Helps college students find jobs.  
  • Impact Oregon – This website is specifically dedicated to establishing an inclusive workforce and connecting jobseekers to positions working with people who have developmental disabilities.

We’re Hiring!

Want to work for the best in disability support services? Come and work at ALSO. One employee, Peter, says this about working at our non-profit:

“I’ve chosen to work in a career that brings me purpose…every day. We see ability, not disability, and the people I support have become the fabric of my life.”

It’s not just us who know about the great opportunities at ALSO.  We’re proud to say that we are a part of the Top 100 Best Non-Profits to Work For (2020) and the Top 100 Best Green Places to Work For (2021).

Still have questions about how to become a Direct Support Professional? Do you want to learn more about direct support professional job duties? Contact us or browse our current job opportunities today.

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