A direct support professional and the person they support sitting on a bench in a park

What Kind of DSP Are You?

Becoming a Direct Support Professional means you will help people with disabilities thrive—wherever life takes them.

There is no one-size-fits-all position in this profession, but you can narrow down what type of commitment might fit best with your lifestyle. Use the quiz/flowchart provided in this blog to determine the best fit for you. Once you’ve found the right pathway, take a read through the listed description to learn more about the type of direct support work you’re best-suited for.

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Leslie and Julio Computer

Leslie and Julio Get to Work

Meaningful employment can dramatically enrich a person’s life, but people labelled with a disability can face societal barriers that prevent them from accessing productive, fulfilling careers. With the proper support and advocates on their side, however, they can enjoy a rewarding career.

Leslie Vitt has worked as a Case Manager for a supported employment service in Winnipeg for two decades, helping adults labelled with a disability find fulfilling employment and succeed at work independently. She currently supports 17 individuals but has worked with Julio since day one. His progress continues to inspire her, even after 20 years together.

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Annalisa and Gordie

The Real Adventures of Annalisa and Gordie

Annalisa O’Neill longed for a career change—something more fulfilling and community-based, where they could make a difference in people’s lives. After scrolling through available jobs online, they noticed several openings for Direct Support Professionals (DSP). 

It ended up being the perfect fit. Working as a DSP and enrolling in Disability and Community Support at RRC Polytech was the ideal opportunity to provide impactful, genuine support to people who need it. 

What Annalisa didn’t anticipate, however, was how much this new job would help them break out of their shell—and how much fun it would be.

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Josel and Cory Bond Over Basketball and Good Communication

Josel Fortaleza has a lot on the go. He’s a wedding photographer, a church pastor, and a father to a young toddler—but even with his busy lifestyle, working as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) has been a perfect fit.

While the job’s flexibility is certainly convenient, the benefits reach far beyond this for Josel.

Josel supports a few different people with
lived disability experience in Winnipeg through his DSP role, and he’s developed an especially close bond with a man named Cory. Cory has Down Syndrome, and his fun-loving nature ensures it’s never a dull moment when he and Josel get together. They love playing pool, listening to music, shopping, hanging outside, playing basketball, and even singing karaoke.

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Wai Han and Eric Kitchen

Learning About New Cuisines and Cantonese: Wai Han and Eric

Wai Han has been a Direct Support Professional (DSP) since 2008, and it’s offered her the chance to meet plenty of interesting people from all walks of life. She works in home settings, supporting people living with disabilities in the places they live and building relationships with them and their families. Every family is unique, so when Wai enters their home to offer support, she learns about their interests, traditions, and of course—their food.

Eric is a young high school student who hasn’t seen Wai in nearly a year—yet he still remembers exactly the way she made his sandwich that day.

As they get to know each other and Wai learns how to best support him in his daily life, Eric shows just as much interest in learning about Wai. 
Lately, he has really enjoyed learning some Cantonese words—Wai’s first language.

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