Providing Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Direct Support Professionals Survey, 12-Month Follow Up

June 2, 2021

Over the past 12 months, direct support professionals have experienced high risks of infection, financial hardship, and exhaustion. Many have become ill and lost loved ones. The voices of DSPs matter, now more than ever. Show them you care about their wellbeing by passing along this confidential survey. The University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration, in partnership with the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals, developed this survey to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on direct support professionals and identify the most effective ways to protect DSPs and the people they support. Please visit to complete the survey.
Please forward this survey to the direct support professionals that you employ, including paid family members. Their answers will be anonymous. National and state-specific results from the survey will be shared widely in September 2021. Two similar surveys of DSPs were conducted by ICI and NADSP and each was completed by more than 9,000 DSPs. Those results are available here. The new survey is for both DSPs who completed the earlier survey and those who did not.  

About the RTC-CL and NADSP

The Research and Training Center on Community Living for Persons with intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (RTC-CL) has operated at the University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration since 1976. During this time, it has made many substantial contributions that have positively affected the field and the lives of people with disabilities by developing effective, research-based interventions and creating new knowledge that has influenced practices and policies for increasing community living and participation for people with disabilities. The RTC-CL is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In 1996, the National Alliance for Direct Support Professional'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. For more information, please visit