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The Team at ALSO

November 11, 2022

Bring Heart Work Into Your Life as a Part-Time Direct Support Professional

The decision to become a part of something that’s bigger than yourself doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds.  In fact, with as little as 3 to 4 hours per week, you can literally change someone’s life and bring greater fulfillment to your own.

What we’re talking about is the opportunity to become a Direct Support Professional (DSP) for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Right now, in Oregon, there are hundreds if not thousands of people with disabilities not receiving vital services due to the lack of DSPs working as service providers.

At ALSO, we’re out to change that. We’ve creating part-time positions for individuals needing to make a little extra money, while at the same time being part of a caring and compassionate community. We call it Heart Work.

About DSP Heart Work

1. What is a Direct Support Professional?

As a DSP for persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities, you would provide many types of support to these individuals:

  • Helping to prepare people for job interviews.
  • Assisting and training in self-care, e.g., shopping, cooking, laundry.
  • Providing education on medication management or bill-paying.
  • Assisting in hobbies, e.g., gardening, pet care, painting.

Not only does DSP work encompass many engaging job responsibilities, it is also incredibly rewarding! As DSPs we’re dedicated to providing person-centered services.

2. What are Person-Centered Service Jobs?

If you think of everything you do during the day, such as things you enjoy, tasks that keep you independent, as well as emotionally and physically healthy – well, that’s the wide variety of ways that you could be helpful to someone who really needs you.

This is what we mean by person-centered services. First, we listen to the desires and goals of those we support. Then, we work together to help people become independent and achieve their goals. Here are just a few of ALSO’s very successful person-centered initiatives.

  • Employment Services – Forward-thinking collaborations with community employers, leading to competitive employment in meaningful professions.
  • Assistive Technology Training – A vital way to promote autonomy, choice, and enhance quality-of-life.

3. Community Inclusion

At ALSO, we strive to promote our Vision every day:

ALSO envisions a future in which all people, including those living with developmental and other disabilities are fully included, participating members of their communities. We see equitable access to supports and services that reflect the preferences and values of diverse communities and that lead to self-determination, independence, productivity, and a healthy and satisfying quality of life.

It’s through this advocacy that we work towards full community inclusion. Another positive result is true community diversity.

Sprinkling Heart Work Into Your Life as a Part-time DSP

Chaz provides a heartwarming example of why he loves his work at ALSO:

“The one thing that comes to mind today is that when I see someone get a new job, their life changes in so many ways. They have new expectations, new experiences, new relationships, and new social opportunities. Seeing their expression when they get their first paycheck is amazing!”

The excitement of being a DSP is that you don’t need to be a full-time employee to get that rewarding feeling of helping individuals with disabilities discover their true selves and integrate into community life. All it takes is a few hours a week!

National Trends and Challenges

By joining the ranks of Direct Support Professionals, you will be countering a nationwide trend of a massively low supply of these valued professionals. According to a 2022 report by the ANCOR Foundation and United Cerebral Palsy, over 500,000 individuals nationwide aren’t receiving the critical support necessary to fully integrate into their communities.

Oregon’s Commitment

Fortunately, in Oregon, we’ve demonstrated incredible determination in advocating for our community members with disabilities. In fact, in 2019, the ANCOR Foundation documented that Oregon ranks second in the country in efforts to serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Even with this statistic, the need for Direct Support Professionals is growing. One estimate indicates that, by 2025, there will be a whopping 50% increase in need for DSPs in Oregon alone.

Joining Our Team

With just a few hours a week, you can be a major part of the solution! The DSP starting hourly wage is approximately $18.50—$20.00 per hour, depending on experience. We admit that it’s not enough for a primary income. Labor shortages have definitely been made worse by inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, for a secondary income that’s flexible and for work that is fulfilling and rewarding, it’s the perfect opportunity. So, let’s work together on this!

Have a positive impact on your community and change lives– one hour at a time. Call Us at 541-410-0317 or apply now on our Career Page!

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