Bethany has worked in the field of developmental disabilities for 25 years. The first nine of those years were spent as a direct support professional (DSP). After working as a DSP, Bethany accepted a promotion to the role of Program Coordinator for Muskingum Residentials. Her major responsibilities included hiring and training staff, conducting assessments, and writing habilitative programs. It was in this role that Bethany became passionate about including DSPs in the process of designing support for people with disabilities. This passion led her to become involved with the Ohio Alliance of Direct Support Professionals as a mentor for the DSPaths credentialing program in 2010. In the following years, she became an OADSP certified instructor and the Mideast Regional Coordinator. Bethany has had many roles with OADSP, including serving as the Credentialing and Outreach Coordinator, the co-editor of the OADSP E-Flash newsletter, and as the Chief Operating Officer. In 2015, she succeeded Amy Gerowitz as OADSP’s Executive Director.
Bethany’s accomplishments include establishing Ohio’s DSP and Frontline Supervisors Councils; developing OADSP’s annual Summit; and increasing OADSP’s footprint on Ohio’s I/DD system through programs like DSP-U, a DSP training program for high school students and other non-incumbent workers. Additionally, Bethany has written and presented seminars at state and national conferences, she is the co-facilitator of the Ohio Think Tank, a forward-thinking group of I/DD providers, sits on the DODD statewide workforce task force and is a member of the Synergy Leadership Team. Most recently, Bethany authored a whitepaper titled, “Stabilization and Beyond, Ohio’s Workforce: A Call to Action” and became a John C. Maxwell certified coach and instructor.
Addressing the Workforce Crisis through DSP-U: In this session, participants will learn about DSP-U, a Direct Support Professional (DSP) credentialing program for high students that was developed in Ohio. DSP-U combines classroom curriculum and an internship component that provides students the opportunity to earn national credentials. This session will provide an overview of the fundamental elements of DSP-U, and highlight the various partnerships between local schools, organizations, providers, and other stakeholders necessary to make a program of this nature successful.