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The single biggest barrier to implementation of Ohio’s developmental disability system’s strategic objectives is the lack of an available direct support workforce. Reducing waiting lists, county board divestiture of day services, ICF downsizing, and developmental center downsizing all depend ultimately on an increasing number of quality direct support professionals (DSPs).

OPRA has launched DSPOhio in direct response to Ohio’s developmental disabilities system’s number one challenge-the workforce crisis. DSPOhio is a unique statewide DSP recruitment effort that combines data-driven, targeted DSP branding and recruitment advertising with an on-line direct link that connects potential employees with provider employers. To effectively recruit DSPs on an ongoing basis a process is required to increase awareness of and familiarity with the role of DSP. This moves people to consider it as a career option, apply for a job and hopefully enjoy their career as a DSP so much that they stay in the role, perhaps advance in their career and become an advocate for the role with others.


DSPOhio's Major components:

Branding. Through the use of continual multi-media purchases, DSPOhio will continuously build awareness and understanding of the term DSP, the rewarding nature inherent in the work and the potential career opportunities available. DSPOhio has partnered with Ohio-based advertising firms to develop manage social media advertising and local television commercials.

Connectivity. Using a data-driven, integrated marketing communications strategy, DSPOhio focuses on provider identified employee demographics and offer interested employees a simple way to immediately connect with prospective employers.

Website. The DSPOhio website will be the conduit between interested employee and provider employer. The website will also offer more in-depth information on the role and responsibilities of a DSP, testimonials, videos and will allow provider specific information.

Metrics. All components of DSPOhio are data-driven and measurable allowing for continual learning and adaptation to become more and more sophisticated and effective. Effectiveness can be assessed by looking at how paid media is leveraged to drive people to the website. Other metrics include new visitors to the website, time on site, video views, video completion rates, what pages people visit, number of lead generation forms completed, etc.


This project is being funded partly by an Ohio DD Council grant, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, the Ohio Provider Resource Association, and donations from local providers and County Boards of Developmental Disabilities.

For more information on DSPOhio or to learn how you can donate to the media campaign, please contact the ORPA office.