Last fall, ACL launched a prize competition for innovative business models that increase the overall stability of home- and community-based services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities by strengthening the direct support professional (DSP) workforce. The Blazing New Trails for Community-Based Direct Support Professionals Challenge called on innovators to develop and pilot models that will transform the DSP workforce.
The challenge is divided into a series of phases that include proposal, testing, and review. In round one, teams submitted concepts describing their proposed solution, approach, and team experience. Of the teams that submitted proposals, five teams have been chosen to move on to round two.
The winners of the first round of the challenge competition and the innovative models they propose are:
- Able South Carolina: Reimagining the Role of Direct Service Professionals
- The Collaborative for Citizen Directed Supports – NJ: Mapping the Way to Self-Directed Services
- The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals, Inc. (NADSP): Moving from Crisis to Stabilization – Professionalizing the Direct Support Workforce Through Credentialing and the NADSP E-Badge Academy
- RCM of Washington: The DSP Academy – Building an Inclusive Direct Support Professional Workforce
- SEEC: Building Tomorrow’s DSP WorkFORCE (Fostering Opportunities, Recognition, Competencies & Excellence)
The round one winners will compete in round two by conducting small-scale feasibility testing on their proposed model. Round two winners will be announced in August 2021.