To the Editor:
The week of Sept. 9-15 was designated at the national and state level as "Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week." Both Congress and the Minnesota governor's office chose to recognize and honor the important role that direct support workers play in the lives of people with disabilities, and in the communities where they live and work.
Direct support professionals provide supports that allow people with disabilities to stay connected to communities, and assist them to live meaningful and productive lives. The work that direct support professionals do helps people with disabilities to live, play and learn in ways we all hope to live our lives.
Locally, direct support professionals work for people with disabilities in their home, at school and at work. Nearly 400 direct support professionals work locally for providers such as Community Options and Resources, Habilitative Services, REM Heartland, MRCI Worksource, SMILES and STEP, Inc., as well as for local school districts, families and individuals. The work they do and the care they give impact the lives of our families, friends, co-workers and neighbors with disabilities and they deserve our recognition and thanks. The work they do makes a positive difference in all of our lives.
As employers of local direct support professionals, we would like to publicly recognize and thank them for the valuable work they do that makes a difference every day.
Susan Eisenmenger, chairwoman
Interagency Disabilities Providers Group of Faribault and Martin Counties