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OADSP originated in training and professional development for Direct Support Professionals and Frontline Supervisors, and our roots are best represented by OADSP’s flagship program for adult learners working in the I/DD field, DSPaths (Direct Support Professional Advancement through Training in Human Services).

DSPaths was created to help legitimatize direct support as a professional career track, and, consequently, improve compensation, industry image, and public awareness of the role. Parallel objectives included bettering the quality of services and supports, and boosting retention and recruitment outcomes.

DSPaths is nationally recognized, and it is accredited for adult learners already working in the I/DD field. All elements of the program are based on best-practices models, including the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals’ (NADSP) Competency Areas (which, in turn are derived from the HSRI/University of Minnesota’s Community Support Skill Standards) and Code of Ethics. DSPaths offers progressive learning levels that teach, reinforce, and build the essential knowledge, skills, and abilities of a highly qualified Direct Support Professional. Each level is divided into and presented as Modules, and each Module must be finished in order to complete the level. Hallmarks of DSPaths include:

  • Blending theory and practice so that learners acquire and then apply new skills
  • Guidance from OADSP Certified Instructors familiar with the program and experienced in the field
  • Coaching from OADSP Certified Skill Mentors to complete the program and prepare portfolios successfully
  • Access to the content through either on-site or online instruction
  • Active support from OADSP throughout learners’ experiences with the program
  • Three progressive levels of professional development: Basic Certificate, Certificate of Initial Proficiency (CIP), and Certificate of Advanced Proficiency (CAP). Follow the links for each level to learn more about its content and credentialing significance.

Good to know…

  • Credentialing of Direct Support Professionals and Frontline Supervisors is voluntary. It is not currently mandated by any regulatory system.
  • DSPaths – and any development program in OADSP’s catalog – is affordable and cost-effective for both large and independent employers.
  • OADSP development programs, including DSPaths, are challenging and rigorous, but are entirely doable for Direct Support Professionals and Frontline Supervisors who are committed to their vocations.
  • In Ohio, DSPaths’ credentials are portable, and in any location, employers, families, and individuals receiving services and supports recognize their value when considering direct support candidates.
  • OADSP collaborates with a wide variety of industry stakeholders to maintain the highest quality of programming possible, and we are committed to the continuous enhancement of our programming, products, and services as suggested by measurable outcomes and evaluation systems.

For more information about DSPaths, becoming a Licensed Entity (LE), and online access to this program, contact us. Interested in OADSP’s program for secondary-school-age students and adult learners outside of the I/DD field? Click here.

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