We've been busy with family visitors in the last week — the Canadians and the Kansans — and I haven't had much time at the computer. Aunt Vicki (you may recall her spatula trick from last fall) beamed with pride when she told me that her daughter/my cousin, Andrea, gave an impassioned speech in Washington, DC, last week. Andrea works for Cottonwood, Inc. in Lawrence, Kansas. Cottonwood is a home/service agency for people with disabilities. Words cannot adequately sum up what Andrea and her coworkers — Direct Support Professionals — do for the people who use Cottonwood's services. This is largely due to society's ignorance on DSPs, but also because DSPs are so involved with and dedicated to their clients, that their relationships are so complex. A job description is just very difficult to explain.
Even though Andrea and her coworkers, and other people like them, are taking exceptionally good care of humans — some of the most vulnerable humans — they are grossly underpaid. Andrea spoke last week to build support for H.R. 1279, the Direct Support Professionals Fairness and Security Act of 2007. Turn up the volume, and watch Andrea's speech; read about H.R. 1279, and if you are so inclined, contact your congressperson and let him/her know you support this legislation.