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The direct support workforce and COVID-19: what we know and what we need to do
Join Megan Sanders from the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration as she summarizes the results of a 12-month follow-up survey on the direct support workforce and their experiences supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.


*Come learn what the data has told us and hear recommendations to strengthen the
workforce and keep DSPs and the individuals they support safe.

*Receive (3) plain-language research briefs that show results of the 3 studies conducted on the DSP workforce since the start of COVID-19.

*Receive a selection of short-video vaccination public service annoucements targeted to
DSPs. You can use these videos for no-cost in your digital media health and wellness

*This webinar does not offer CEUs

Hosted by DirectCourse: a partnership between Institute on Community Integration, UMN and Elsevier.


Background on DSP Surveys:

Surveys were conducted by the Institute on Community Integration and the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals.

Approximately 5,400 direct support professionals (DSPs) and frontline supervisors from across the country completed this survey.

The initial survey in April 2020 and a six-month follow-up survey were each completed by approximately 9,000 respondents, making this the largest study ever conducted on the direct support workforce.

Funded by grant #90RTCP0003 from the National Institute on Disability Independent Living Rehabilitation Research and cooperative agreement #90DDUC0070 from the Administration on Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Nov 10, 2021 11:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Megan Sanders
Education Program Specialist @Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota
Megan Sanders will be presenting during this session. She provides training and technical assistance to address workforce challenges for direct support professionals (DSPs). As an experienced DSP and frontline supervisor, she is driven to improve the retention of DSPs and FLSs. She is passionate about the intersection of research and practice, program evaluation, and person-centered practices and supported decision-making. Megan earned a Master's in Social Work and a Master's in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining the staff of ICI, she was a Graduate Research Assistant, providing support for the Disability Policy and Services certificate.
Claire Benway
Education Specialist II, MA, PCT Mentor Trainer @Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota
Claire will be a panelist during this session. Claire provides technical assistance, training and development support within the direct support profession. She works on state and federal projects focusing on improving community services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her current projects involve training, technical assistance and state policy development in person centered thinking/planning, direct support workforce development and community living. She authors content and provides quality assurance for on-line curricula in DirectCourse. Claire is a certified Person Centered Thinking 2 Day Mentor Trainer and holds a Masters in Theatre Education from Emerson College in Boston Massachusetts.
Olivia Sullivan
Health Systems Representative @Elsevier
Olivia will be a panelist during this session. Olivia works with providers and state disability service systems to provide licensing for DirectCourse; a competency-based, online learning curriculum built with intentions to evolve the field of direct support, aging services, mental health, and competetive, integrated employment. DirectCourse was founded by University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration, created from their research on best practices in community living, and published by Elsevier.