Envision Unlimited has more than 400 compassionate direct service professionals (DSPs) who are committed to serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental illness. They work in our group homes (CILAs), day centers, and mental health facilities to support our members, keep them safe, encourage them to be more independent, and help them reach their highest potential.
The DSPs in our CILAs serve as mentors and coaches for Envision members. They assist with daily living activities such as bathing and dressing, shopping, laundry, and cooking. They accompany them on appointments and make commuting arrangements. They even plan and attend leisure time activities, help members learn new skills, and support them in realizing their dreams in life. Our DSPs are also trained to administer medications, take vital signs, monitor members’ medical conditions, and help them manage their finances. DSPs are vital to our members’ overall well-being.
As Vice President of Community Living, Home Based, and In-Home Respite Services, Donna Ennis offers the best insight into the invaluable nature of our DSPs.“We have some members with limited or no language skills, so DSPs are their voice,” she explained. “DSPs advocate for the members and are key persons of each member’s support team. They must know members' needs and desires and how to help them be successful in social situations.”
They Deserve More
Envision and several other nonprofit organizations have allied to advocate for higher pay for our caregivers. Please visit our website, They Deserve More, for more information on this important initiative.
I believe that Envision's empathetic DSPs deliver the highest caliber of care, which is why DSP Appreciation Week—September 11-17—is particularly meaningful to me. It's also a special honor for me to personally introduce you to McKisha Davis, the extraordinary DSP we are featuring this month. Keep reading, and you'll see!
If you know the story of Helen Keller, who became deaf and blind when she was a toddler, you're probably familiar with Anne Sullivan, the immensely gifted teacher who profoundly changed Helen’s life. Ms. Sullivan's legacy also changed the trajectory of McKisha’s life. She enrolled in Envision's sign language classes and voluntarily transferred from a lead position to work with Maya E., a member who is deaf, blind, and uses a wheelchair.
Maya's mom, Faye Manaster, told us, "McKisha definitely stands out as a DSP who is dedicated to supporting persons in her care. She's responsible, reliable, and a good problem solver. She continues to learn and improve her sign language skills independently, which is an absolute necessity to communicate effectively with my daughter."
When I heard McKisha's inspiring story, I could hardly wait to speak with her. I hope you enjoy our chat.