Meet Teresa Randall, who, along with all other DSPs, is being honored across the nation for their service during the week beginning Sunday, September 13.

A Direct Support Professional is a staff member who serves as direct care, in-home support, a personal assistant and an attendant to insure that people with disabilities, both developmental and intellectual, are able to live more independently and in community settings. They are invaluable in the service they provide to the individual and quietly raise the quality of their lives across the board.

Randall has been working with Manus for more than seven years. “When I started (as a DSP) I was scared to death,” Randall says describing her introduction to the new profession. “When I got in here with the clients though, that was it. The rest is history.

“To be able to work with these clients and help them become better people, better equipped to do things on their own and share the love they have to give so freely, it’s awesome.”

Randall exudes pride to see the achievements and barriers broken by Robin and other individuals. “I am most proud to know I have helped them overcome those barriers. It’s something I never knew I would feel, but it is great to see them be comfortable and be themselves.

“This is a good thing in my life,” says Randall upon reflection of how far she has come as a DSP. “When I started, I was just overcome with joy because I felt this is what I was meant to do. So, it was hard to contain the joy I felt, that I was in a career I belonged in and that I could make a difference.”