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Letter: Help for DSPs

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Dear Editor:

During this unprecedented time, it is essential that our community not overlook the life sustaining services provided by Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). DSPs are kind and compassionate staff that care for people with intellectual disabilities. The Arc of Cumberland & Perry Counties (CPARC) has 172 DSPs providing care to 132 individuals in our residential programs. They help with personal care, attend to medical needs, implement behavior plans, and give other hands-on support.

Just like you, our individuals are staying at home. Visits with family and friends have stopped. Routines have been broken. Yet, DSPs are there through it all. DSPs provide certainty in uncertain times. For them, staying at home and social distancing is not an option.

As you can imagine, the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) impacts our mission. I’d like to ask our neighbors for help. We are accepting donations of homemade facemasks, gloves, and gowns. Please contact me at (717) 249-2611 or, if you are able to help. Your generosity will help protect our individuals and staff, while also allowing us to conserve limited supplies of PPE.

I’d also like to echo pleas made to the public to follow guidelines designed to stop the spread of this pandemic. You have the power to keep our DSPs healthy so they can continue to provide care to people with intellectual disabilities.

Anne M. Couldridge

Executive Director The Arc of Cumberland & Perry Counties (CPARC)


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