SENATE RESOLUTION 312--DESIGNATING THE WEEK BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 8, 2019, AS ``NATIONAL DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS RECOGNITION WEEK''; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 146
(Senate - September 12, 2019)

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  SENATE RESOLUTION 312--DESIGNATING THE WEEK BEGINNING SEPTEMBER 8, 
  2019, AS ``NATIONAL DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS RECOGNITION WEEK''

  Mr. CARDIN (for himself, Ms. Collins, Mr. King, Mr. Brown, Mr. 
Markey, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Menendez, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Blumenthal, Ms. 
Hassan, Mr. Jones, Mr. Van Hollen, Mr. Casey, Ms. Baldwin, Ms. Harris, 
Mrs. Murray, Ms. Rosen, and Mr. Kaine) submitted the following 
resolution; which was considered and agreed to:

                              S. Res. 312

       Whereas direct support professionals, including direct care 
     workers, personal assistants, personal attendants, in-home 
     support workers, and paraprofessionals, are key to providing 
     publicly funded, long-term support and services for millions 
     of individuals with disabilities;
       Whereas direct support professionals provide essential 
     support that ensures that individuals with disabilities are--
       (1) included as a valued part of the communities in which 
     those individuals live;
       (2) supported at home, at work, and in the communities of 
     the United States; and
       (3) empowered to live with dignity;
       Whereas all communities have a stake in ensuring that 
     individuals with disabilities thrive through the connections 
     of the individuals to their families, friends, and 
     communities, fostered by the direct support professionals of 
     those individuals;
       Whereas home and community-based services driven by the 
     direct support professional workforce can result in cost 
     efficiency and better outcomes relating to support and 
     services for individuals with disabilities;
       Whereas direct support professionals support individuals 
     with disabilities by helping those individuals make person-
     centered choices that lead to meaningful, productive lives;
       Whereas direct support professionals build close, 
     respectful, and trusting relationships with individuals with 
     disabilities;
       Whereas direct support professionals provide a broad range 
     of individualized support to individuals with disabilities, 
     including--
       (1) assisting with the preparation of meals;
       (2) helping with medication;
       (3) assisting with bathing, dressing, and other aspects of 
     daily living;
       (4) assisting with access to the environment of the 
     individuals;
       (5) providing transportation to school, work, religious, 
     and recreational activities;
       (6) helping with general daily affairs, such as assisting 
     with financial matters, medical appointments, and personal 
     interests; and
       (7) meeting complex behavioral and medical needs;
       Whereas there is a documented critical and increasing 
     shortage of direct support professionals throughout the 
     United States;
       Whereas direct support professionals are a critical element 
     in supporting--
       (1) individuals who are receiving health care services for 
     severe chronic health conditions and individuals with 
     functional limitations; and
       (2) the successful transition of individuals from medical 
     events to post-acute care and long-term support and services;
       Whereas many direct support professionals are the primary 
     financial providers for their families;
       Whereas direct support professionals are hardworking, 
     taxpaying citizens who provide an important service to people 
     with disabilities in the United States, yet many continue to 
     earn low wages, receive inadequate benefits, and have limited 
     opportunities for advancement, resulting in high turnover and 
     vacancy rates that adversely affect the quality of support, 
     safety, and health of individuals with disabilities;
       Whereas the Supreme Court of the United States, in Olmstead 
     v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999)--
       (1) recognized the importance of the deinstitutionalization 
     of, and community-based services for, individuals with 
     disabilities; and
       (2) held that, under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 
     1990 (42 U.S. 12101 et seq.), a State must provide community-
     based services to persons with intellectual and developmental 
     disabilities if--
          (A) the community-based services are appropriate;
          (B) the affected person does not oppose receiving the 
     community-based services; and
          (C) the community-based services can be reasonably 
     accommodated after the community has taken into account the 
     resources available to the State and the needs of other 
     individuals with disabilities in the State; and
       Whereas, in 2019, the majority of direct support 
     professionals are employed in home- and community-based 
     settings and that trend will increase over the next decade: 
     Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) designates the week beginning September 8, 2019, as 
     ``National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week'';
       (2) recognizes the dedication and vital role of direct 
     support professionals in enhancing the lives of individuals 
     with disabilities of all ages;
       (3) appreciates the contribution of direct support 
     professionals in supporting individuals with disabilities and 
     their families in the United States;
       (4) commends direct support professionals for being 
     integral to the provision of long-term support and services 
     for individuals with disabilities;
       (5) encourages the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the 
     Department of Labor to collect data specific to direct 
     support professionals; and
       (6) finds that the successful implementation of the public 
     policies affecting individuals with disabilities in the 
     United States can depend on the dedication of direct support 
     professionals.

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