Direct Support Professionals

National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP)

Together, we are working to enhance the status of direct support professionals and promote the development of a highly competent human services workforce. We recognize that people needing support are more likely to fulfill their life dreams if they have well-trained, experienced, and motivated people at their side in long-term, stable, compatible support relationships.


In 1996, NADSP’s ideological founder, John F. Kennedy Jr. wrote "Quality is defined at the point of interaction between the staff member and the individual with a disability”. Given this, NADSP’s mission is to enhance the quality of support provided to people with disabilities through the provision of products, services, and certifications which elevate the status of direct support workers, improve practice standards, promote systems reform and, most importantly, advance the knowledge, skills, and values of direct support workers.


NADSP envisions a world where people with intellectual and other disabilities live community-based lives of their choosing supported by a highly qualified direct support workforce with the knowledge, skills, and values needed to support them in achieving their life goals.

New Hampshire's NADSP Chapter:

New Hampshire Alliance of Direct Support Professionals


Monthly, on the 4th Tuesday of the month

6 PM - 8 PM at the NHCDD office

Contact Person:

Robin Carlson

More Information:

Visit the NADSP website

Visit the NH Chapter's Facebook page


Annual DD Council Events:

Direct Support Professional (DSP) Conference




Register here for the event:


Yellow Flag DSP Appreciation Day

This year, the Direct Support Professional Yellow Flag Appreciation event will take place on the State House lawn in Concord, NH on September 8th, 2017. The purpose of this event, brought to New Hampshire by Barbara Wilson, is to elevate the awareness and importance of the direct support profession. Each Yellow Flag will have the name of a DSP and the individual that they work with (made by people with disabilities, families and others). Over 1,000 Yellow Flags will be flying which represent the many dedicated and committed Direct Support Professionals who proudly serve citizens with disabilities in our state.

We encourage anyone who is touched by a Direct Support Professional to make a flag of their own - a person with a disability, their families, a friend or associates. Come join us in Concord on September 8th and add it to our collection.

Yellow Flag Day for Direct Support Professionals September, 8 2017 David Ouellette(l), Governor Chris Sununu(cl), Isadora Rodiguez-Legendre(c), Barbara Wilson(cr) and Robin Carlson(r).


Photos from the 2016 Yellow Flag DSP Appreciation event

Left: David Oullette, DDC Project Director; Right: Governor Maggie Hassan with Robin Carlson, DSP

Important instructions for making a flag:

  • In order to make all the flags uniform in size the yellow cotton/polyester fabric must be 17''height x 11''width, with 3'' left blank at the top (so they can be hung) and cut with pinking edges or finished with surge or zigzag stitch on sewing machine.
  • Decorate with fabric markers, acrylic paint, dyes or sewn on materials - no stickers or things that can fall off easily.
  • Put the name of the DSP in the body of the flag with a message if you wish, use the lower left corner for the name of the organization the DSP works for and the artisan’s name in the lower right corner with 2012 as a date.


The following is an opening speech given by Robin Carlson, a Direct Support Professional, at the Yellow Flag event on September 11, 2015.

Thank you all for coming today to this magnificent celebration-the Yellow Flag Campaign.

Direct Support Professionals in NH and around our country who have chosen this career to serve citizens with disabilities are foundational players in our larger human service system.

Just like our soldiers who sign up to protect our country-defend our freedom and our life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness-we too are an army of servants who protect and serve our most vulnerable citizens.

Robert McAfee Brown, a Presbyterian minister and social justice activist, once said, “A moral society will express special concern for the powerless. A society will be moral to the degree that those in it are ceaselessly concerned about those who lack power; those who will therefore be victimized.”

People with disabilities have been victimized with a long history of institutionalization, lack of adequate funding and resources and less than a high measure of respect.

By default, those who directly work for them suffer from low wages, lackluster benefits and credentials that could get you a job at McDonalds.

This is proof that we still have a long way to go until our society becomes the moral powerhouse it has the potential to be.

So we must continue to fight the good fight of helping our fellow human beings who experience disabilities to live a good life of their choosing in NH and everywhere.

We can do that by strengthening a workforce that has high standards, a live-able wage and good healthcare.

We must find the courage and tenacity to challenge the status quo because our goal is to create a just and moral society where the powerful leaders see all their citizens as valuable.

Thank you.


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Yellow Flag DSP Appreciation event, 2014


Presentation on the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP)