SESDAC celebrates DSP workers

SESDAC, Inc. announced its participation in National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week with a slate of celebratory activities.

"The U.S. Senate unanimously approved Senate Resolution 558 designating the week of Sept. 12 as National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week," said Gerry Tracy, executive director of SESDAC, Inc. "We're proud to take part in this national celebration that honors DSP workers who give so much too so many every day."

DSPs enable our most fragile citizens and their families to be an integral part of our society by involving them in work and activities that lead to healthy and productive lives in the community. DSPs provide services for 79 people and their families in Vermillion on a daily basis. "National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week calls upon us to make time in our busy routines to demonstrate our gratitude," Tracy said.

"We have a variety of exciting and fun events planned to celebrate DSP week. Prior to DSP week, we will be having an essay contest for all DSP's which is titled, 'Why I like being a DSP.' Our planning committee will review each of the entries and award various prizes and will submit the winning one to the newspaper to educate people on what a DSP is and does." said Bernie LeCates, human resources director at SESDAC, Inc.

To start off the week, on Monday various leadership will visit each of the houses on an Appreciation Tour to spread the word to all staff regarding how much they are appreciated. In addition, that night SESDAC is offering half-price admission to the local movie theatre for its DSPs. Tuesday and Wednesday mornings the facility is working with Hy-Vee to have a thank you breakfast for the staff that will run from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

On Thursday, SESDAC will be grilling burgers and hotdogs for everyone outside of its administrative building as they enjoy a "pie in the face" throwing booth. On Friday, SESDAC has organized a mud volleyball tournament with teams and prizes. Teamwork and fun are our ultimate goals for this event.

DSPs are the people who work as direct care workers, in-home support workers, personal assistants and attendants to ensure that people with disabilities are able to live independently in communities of their choosing.

"Direct support professionals provide an invaluable service to the millions of Americans living with disabilities. I'm proud to honor these hard-working individuals who give so much to help those in need. Their dedication to service is an example to us all," said Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) sponsor of Senate Resolution 558.

SESDAC, Inc. is a community support provider whose mission is to assist people with disabilities to live, work and socialize in their communities. Currently, SESDAC, Inc. has 140 employees that provide a diverse range of services to 78 adults with developmental disabilities in a variety of settings in Clay and Union counties. The scope of services provided is tailored to an individual's needs and desires, and could include things like residential supports, case management, job development and job coaching, education and advocacy.

Additionally, SESDAC, Inc. has two family support programs that work with 80 children with disabilities and their families throughout 11 counties in southeast South Dakota. SESDAC, Inc. also operates Vermillion Public Transit and provides around 4,500 rides a month to the citizens of Vermillion.

US Senate Resolution 558 and the Governor's Proclamation, may be read on SESDAC, Inc.'s website at www.sesdac.org.

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