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Driven by Values, Honored by You: Direct Support Professional Awards 2015

Nominations due by January 31, 2015.
The nomination period is closed. Please see the winners below!

(Click here for the official rules)

We want to hear about outstanding DSPs that you work with, for a chance for them to win a lifelong NADSP membership!  Please tell us about a DSP that demonstrates the NADSP Competency “Participant Empowerment”.  He or she enhances the ability of the participant to lead a self-determining life by providing the support and information necessary to build self-esteem, and assertiveness; and to make decisions.

  • The competent DSP assists and supports the participant to develop strategies, make informed choices, follow through on responsibilities, and take risks.
  • The competent DSP promotes participant partnership in the design of support services, consulting the person and involving him or her in the support process.
  • The competent DSP provides opportunities for the participant to be a self-advocate by increasing awareness of self-advocacy methods and techniques, encouraging and assisting the participant to speak on his or her own behalf, and providing information on peer support and self-advocacy groups.
  • The competent DSP provides information about human, legal, civil rights and other resources, facilitates access to such information and assists the participant to use information for self-advocacy and decision making about living, work, and social relationships.

Congratulations to our winners!

Ethelinda Felder,

Special People in Northeast, Inc. (SPIN)

nominated by Kathleen Brown McHale
nominated by Kathleen Brown McHale

Jonathan Addo,

Special People in Northeast, Inc. (SPIN)

nominated by Judy Dotzman

Brian Brandau,

Exceptional Persons, Inc.

nominated by Katie Slade
nominated by Katie Slade

Melinda Donnelly,

Pathway Enterprises, Inc.

nominated by Becky Simpson
nominated by Becky Simpson

Renee Rashid,

Support Services of Virginia

nominated by Heidi Williams

Greg Glosan,

Special People in Northeast, Inc. (SPIN)

nominated by Hope Pomerantz
nominated by Hope Pomerantz

DirectCourse would like to extend a special thank you to everyone that submitted a nomination.


For more information about NADSP competencies and membership, please visit their








ELSEVIER 2015 DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL (DSP) RECOGNITION CONTESTOFFICIAL RULES NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. OPEN ONLY TO INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE REACHED THE AGE OF MAJORITY AT THE TIME OF ENTRY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED.   CONTEST DESCRIPTION: The Elsevier Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Contest (the “Contest”) is a contest where participants are asked to nominate an individual who is active as a direct support professional (for example, as a direct care worker, personal assistant, personal attendant, in-home support worker, paraprofessional, etc.) and explain how this “Nominee” illustrates the first DSP competency as set forth by the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (“NADSP”) to be recognized as one of five (5) DSPs pursuant to these “Official Rules.” SPONSOR: Elsevier Inc., 1600 John F Kennedy Blvd Ste 1800, Philadelphia, PA 19103 ELIGIBILITY: The Contest is open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia (U.S.) who have attained the age of majority in his/her state/provinces of residence as of the date of entry into the Contest (“Entrant”). Employees of Sponsor, NADSP, its respective parent, divisions, affiliates, dealers, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, (collectively the “Contest Entities”) and their immediate families, including spouses and parents, in-laws, siblings and children regardless of where they reside, and members of the same household of such employees, whether or not related, are not eligible to enter. Government officials are also not eligible to enter. Entrants may be subject to rules imposed by their institution or employer relative to their participation in trade promotions and should check with their institution or employer for any relevant policies. Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and/or local laws and regulations. Contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law.CONTEST PERIOD: The Contest begins at 12:01:01 AM Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) on January 1, 2015 and ends at 11:59:59 PM EST on January 31, 2015 (“Contest Period”).  Sponsor’s server is the official clock for the Contest. HOW TO ENTER: Visit (the “Website”) during the Contest Period and a) agree to the Official Rules; b) complete the “Nomination Form” with all required information about the Contest Entrant and the Nominee; c) answer the essay question posted on the website, not to exceed 350 characters, as to how the Nominee illustrates the first DSP competency as set forth by the NADSP – Participant Empowerment (“Entry,” or plural “Entries”) and d) submit as directed. ALL ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY 11:59:59 PM EST on January 31, 2015. Limit of one (1) Contest Entry per Entrant or email address per Nominee for the Contest Period. In the event that more than one (1) Contest Entry is received from any one person or email address on behalf of the same Nominee, the first Entry processed will be considered the only valid Entry received.  Only entries submitted electronically through in accordance with these Official Rules will be eligible for consideration. NO ALTERNATE MEANS OF ENTRY PERMITTED. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Contest Entries must be written in English, may not exceed 350 characters, and will be ineligible if they are corrupted, do not meet ALL of the specified requirements or are not able to be viewed due to technical or human error or reasons beyond the control of the Sponsor. In addition, an Entry shall be void in the sole discretion of the Sponsor if it contains any product or service endorsement, or “commercial tie-ins”, or any material deemed offensive, or which might subject Contest Entities to regulatory or legal action, violate any law, infringe the rights of any person, or could subject them to liability for any reason. By submitting an Entry, Entrant represents and warrants that it is (a) wholly original with the Entrant; (b) has not been previously submitted or distributed elsewhere for any other purpose and does not incorporate or include anything that is owned by any third party or would require the consent of any third party other than the Nominee; and (c) does not violate any copyright, trademark, publicity right, privacy right or any other right of any third party. Entries becomes the permanent property of Sponsor, and Entrant and Nominee to the extent necessary, irrevocably assign and transfer to Sponsor all rights in each Contest Entry, including without limitation, all copyrights. Sponsor shall have the right to use/edit the Entry in any manner in any and all media, worldwide in perpetuity without further compensation or consent. Upon request of Sponsor, Entrant and Nominee as requested will provide written consent to the foregoing in a form provided by Sponsor.SELECTION OF WINNERS AND PRIZES: Five (5) different winners will be chosen by a panel of representatives from Elsevier’s DirectCourse and NADSP (“Panel”) from the pool of qualified Nominees on or about February 28th, 2015 by applying the following “Judging Criteria”: How closely the nominee exemplified the NADSP Competency “Participant Empowerment”. The potential winners will be notified via email on or about February 28, 2015 and will need to complete and return, in his/her official capacity, an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability Release and, unless prohibited by law, a Publicity Release (“Affidavit”) within fourteen (14) days of receipt. Failure to timely execute and return the required documents or the return of any notification as undeliverable may cause the prize award to be forfeited, at Sponsor’s sole discretion, and the next highest rated Nominee who has not been selected as one of the potential winners will be awarded the prize.  Odds of selection depend upon how well your Entry compares with the other Entries submitted pursuant to the Judging Criteria.  Each winner will be awarded one (1) lifetime NADSP membership (approximate retail value (ARV): $50 each). AGREEMENT TO THE OFFICIAL RULES: By participating in the Contest, each Entrant fully and unconditionally agrees to and accepts these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor which are final and binding on Entrants and Nominees in all matters related to the Contest. For Nominees – for their corresponding Contest Entry to be considered as a potential winner, the Nominees must be active as DSPs and provide written consent to accept the nomination by submitting the signed affidavit, provided by Elsevier, and fully and unconditionally agree to and abide by the Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor. Failure to provide written consent within five (5) days of receipt of notification may result in disqualification of the Contest Entry. GENERAL PRIZE RESTRICTIONS:Prizes will be awarded to the Nominee listed in each of the five winning Entries. In the event that there are multiple Entries that list the same Nominee, only the highest rated Entry will be considered for a prize for that Nominee. The Entrants of the winning Entries do not win a prize. Prizes may not be transferred nor assigned. All expenses and costs related to acceptance and use of prize not expressly listed above are entirely the winner’s responsibility. No cash or other substitution may be made, except by the Sponsor, who reserves the right to substitute the prize in whole or in part with another prize of comparable or greater value if the intended prize is not available for any reason as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion. Winners shall bear sole responsibility for fulfilling any tax obligations associated with receipt and/or use of prize. In the event that any potential winner is disqualified for any reason, that prize will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate Nominee. Any difference between stated ARV and actual value will not be awarded. Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellation, delay, diversion, or any act or omission whatsoever by the mail carrier or any other person providing any of these services. Please allow 4-6 weeks after verification of winner status for the receipt of prize winnings.CONSENT TO USE PERSONAL INFORMATION: Except where prohibited by law, acceptance of prize constitutes permission for Sponsor to use the winners’ names, hometowns, likenesses, statements (where applicable) and other identifiable information for promotional, advertising and marketing purposes in any media throughout the world without additional prize, incentive, consideration, consent or review; and upon request, winners will provide written consent to such use. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY/RESERVATION OF RIGHTS: Neither Contest Entities nor any service providers are responsible for any condition caused by events beyond the control of Sponsor that may cause the Contest to be disrupted, incorrect or inaccurate transcription of Entry information, or for any human or other error, technical malfunctions, lost/delayed data or voice transmission, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, line failures of any telephone network, computer equipment, software, inability to access any online service or Website or to complete a telephone call or facsimile transaction or any other error or malfunction, or any injury or damage to participant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation in this Contest. Any Entry will be void if altered, deleted, destroyed, forged, fraudulent, improperly accessed, inaccurate, incomplete, interrupted, late, non-deliverable, tampered with, unauthorized or unintelligible. ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE, TAMPER WITH THE ENTRY PROCESS, OR OTHERWISE UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO COOPERATE IN THE PROSECUTION OF ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL(S) AND TO PURSUE ALL REMEDIES TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. If for any reason the Contest is not capable of being executed as planned (including without limitation a lack of eligible Entries),  or infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, action of Entrants, technical failures or any other causes which in the opinion of the Sponsor, corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any suspect Entry or Entrant and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest. In the event of any cancellation, termination or suspension, notice thereof will be posted at and the determination of the Contest winners will be made per the specifics described in the SELECTION OF WINNERS AND PRIZES section from among all eligible, non-suspect Contest Entries received as of the date of the termination, cancellation or suspension, as Sponsor determines in its sole discretion provided that in such circumstances Sponsor reserves the right not to award the Contest prize. Entries not complying with all rules are subject to disqualification. RELEASE: BY ENTERING THE PROMOTION, ENTRANTS RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS CONTEST ENTITIES AND ITS PARENTS, SUBSIDIARIES, AND AFFILIATED COMPANIES, AND EACH OF THEIR DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, REPRESENTATIVES, VENDORS, PARTNERS AND AGENTS, FROM ANY AND ALL LIABILITY WHATSOEVER, AND WAIVE ANY AND ALL CAUSES OF ACTION, FOR AOR RELATED TO ANY CLAIMS, COSTS, INJURIES, LOSSES, LIABILITIES, OR DAMAGES OR ANY KIND (INCLUDING WIHTOUT LIMITATION, PERSONAL INJURY, DEATH, DAMAGE TO OR DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY, RIGHTS OR PUBLICITY OR PRIVACY, DEFAMATION OR PORTRAYAL IN A FALSE LIGHT) ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROMOTION OR THE ACCEPTANCE, POSSESSION, OR USE OF THE PRIZE, WHETHER UNDER A THEORY OF CONTRACT, WARRANTY, TORT (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, NEGLIGENCE, WHETHER ACTIVE, PASSIVE, OR IMPUTED), STRICT LIABILITY, PRODUCT LIABILITY, CONTRIBUTION, OR ANY OTHER THEORY, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY THE LAW. CONSTRUCTION: The construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of New York, without giving effect to its conflicts of law principles. Entrants and Nominees irrevocably consent to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of New York with respect to any action or suit arising out of or pertaining to the Contest and these Official Rules (except where local law requires otherwise).  WINNERS LIST: To view the winners list, please visit Sponsor’s website at or send an email to with “Elsevier DSP Recognition Contest Winners List” in the subject line by March 31, 2015.

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