The code for a Certified Nursing Assistant is 31-1014. The code for a Home Health Aide is 31-1121. The code for a Personal Care Aide is 31-1122. But these six digits aren’t just numbers. These codes unlock endless information and very practical possibilities for those who have pursued that career. So how does this relate to Direct Support Professionals?

 

They don’t have one. They work anonymously.

These are Standard Occupational Classifications (SOC) that are designated by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor and Statistics. With the insight gathered through a SOC, governmental agencies, individual organizations, and everyday citizens can uncover otherwise unavailable information about that occupation. How do wages compare with similar industries? Where are employment trends heading in the future? How are external issues impacting employees? The answers to these questions will impact your work, your career, and the quality of lives for people you support.

As Direct Support Professionals face increasing demands and piling job responsibilities – despite inadequate wages and insufficient recognition – they need acknowledgement at the federal level to make dramatic change for their workforce. This SOC can be used to set reimbursement rates for services that compensate Direct Support Professionals, improve data analysis for issues like workforce shortages, and demonstrate the contributions of the occupation.

To lead this game-changing effort, the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is building a nationwide coalition to issue a petition to the US Office of Management and Budget, demanding that the office Establish a Direct Support Professional Standard Occupational Classification. As of this blog post, there are more than 3,000 petition signers who believe in the significance of a SOC.

In addition to the petition, a letter has been drafted to U.S. Senator Bob Casey outlining these issues and asking for his support. We ask that all Direct Support Professionals – and those who rely on them – take a bold stance, advocate as one, and band together under this important initiative for a Standard Occupational Classification. Please sign and share this petition with others. Direct Support Professionals should not have to work anonymously anymore.

Petition Partner Organizations

The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is leading this campaign with the support of the following industry partners, who are committed to Establish a Direct Support Professional Standard Occupational Classification:

 

  • Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports
  • American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD)
  • American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD)
  • American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR)
  • The Arc of the United States
  • Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
  • Community Bridges Consulting Group
  • CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership
  • Human Services Research Institute (HSRI)
  • National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD)
  • National Association on Dual Diagnosis (NADD)
  • National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disability Services (NASDDDS)
  • National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities (NLCDD)
  • Research and Training Center at The University of Minnesota
  • Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)
  • The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices (TLCPCP)
  • The Sibling Leadership Network (SLN)