Direct Support Professional Orientation
Leads to certification
Direct Support Professional Training

Direct Support Professional Orientation

The Direct Support Professional Onboarding (DSPO) program provides basic information Direct Support Professionals need before working in the field. Courses are comprised of lessons or content areas. 

Curriculum content

  • This course provides information on Person-First Language and teaches staff how to respectfully interact with people with disabilities. The course includes 2 lessons: Disability Etiquette and Respectful Language.  
    • Lesson DSPO Empowerment C101

  • This course provides information on how to improve communication by understanding barriers and various styles of communication. The course includes 2 lessons: Communication Barriers and Communication Styles.  
  • This course provides information on how a person with a disability communicates, behavior and communication, how to document behavior using the ABC Model, how to positively support behavior, and the use of restrictions. The course includes 4 lessons: Behavior as Communication, Analyzing Behavior, Positive Behavioral Support, and Restrictions .  
  • This course provides information on how a person with a disability communicates, behavior and communication, how to document behavior using the ABC Model, how to positively support behavior, and the use of restrictions. The course includes 4 lessons: Behavior as Communication, Analyzing Behavior, Positive Behavioral Support, and Restrictions .  
  • This course provides information on how a person with a disability communicates, behavior and communication, how to document behavior using the ABC Model, how to positively support behavior, and the use of restrictions. The course includes 4 lessons: Behavior as Communication, Analyzing Behavior, Positive Behavioral Support, and Restrictions .
  • This 4-chapter course will cover the role of the Direct Support Professional (DSP), disability services terminology, disability support services and the principles of success.
  • This 4-chapter course will cover the role of the Direct Support Professional (DSP), disability services terminology, disability support services and the principles of success.
  • This 4-chapter course will cover the role of the Direct Support Professional (DSP), disability services terminology, disability support services and the principles of success.
  • This 4-chapter course will cover the role of the Direct Support Professional (DSP), disability services terminology, disability support services and the principles of success.
  • This course provides information on how people with disabilities receive support through their communities; the negative impact of stereotyping; the advantages of a diverse workforce; and legal protections available for discrimination. The course includes 4 lessons: Community Supports, Disabling Stereotypes, Workplace Diversity, and Legal Protection.  
  • This course provides information on how people with disabilities receive support through their communities; the negative impact of stereotyping; the advantages of a diverse workforce; and legal protections available for discrimination. The course includes 4 lessons: Community Supports, Disabling Stereotypes, Workplace Diversity, and Legal Protection.
  • This course provides information on how people with disabilities receive support through their communities; the negative impact of stereotyping; the advantages of a diverse workforce; and legal protections available for discrimination. The course includes 4 lessons: Community Supports, Disabling Stereotypes, Workplace Diversity, and Legal Protection
  • This course provides information on how people with disabilities receive support through their communities; the negative impact of stereotyping; the advantages of a diverse workforce; and legal protections available for discrimination. The course includes 4 lessons: Community Supports, Disabling Stereotypes, Workplace Diversity, and Legal Protection.  
  • This course provides information on documentation, reporting, and tracking. The course includes 3 lessons: Objective Narrative Documentation, Incident Reporting, and Data Tracking.  
  • This course provides information on documentation, reporting, and tracking. The course includes 3 lessons: Objective Narrative Documentation, Incident Reporting, and Data Tracking.  
  • This course provides information on documentation, reporting, and tracking. The course includes 3 lessons: Objective Narrative Documentation, Incident Reporting, and Data Tracking.  
  • T his course provides information on teaching strategies including how to increase person-served independence using fading. The course includes 2 lessons: Teaching Strategies and Fading.  
  • T his course provides information on teaching strategies including how to increase person-served independence using fading. The course includes 2 lessons: Teaching Strategies and Fading.  
  • This course provides information on Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)and Assistive Technology. The course includes 2 lessons: Direct Assistance and Assistive Technology  
  • This course provides information on Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)and Assistive Technology. The course includes 2 lessons: Direct Assistance and Assistive Technology  
  • This course shares how DSP’s can help people-served build connections, promote interdependence, and support dating & romantic relationships. The course includes 3 lessons: Making Connections, Community Interdependence, and Dating & Romantic Relationships.  
  • This course shares how DSP’s can help people-served build connections, promote interdependence, and support dating & romantic relationships. The course includes 3 lessons: Making Connections, Community Interdependence, and Dating & Romantic Relationships.  
  • This course shares how DSP’s can help people-served build connections, promote interdependence, and support dating & romantic relationships. The course includes 3 lessons: Making Connections, Community Interdependence, and Dating & Romantic Relationships.  
  • This course explains the person-served team and standards for confidentiality including the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) & Protected Information (PI). The course is comprised of 2 lessons: Teamwork and Confidentiality.  
  • This course explains the person-served team and standards for confidentiality including the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) & Protected Information (PI). The course is comprised of 2 lessons: Teamwork and Confidentiality.  
  • This course provides information on person-served rights and explains Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation, & Mistreatment (ANEM). The course includes 3 lessons: Rights of People-Served, Defining ANEM, and Reporting ANEM.  
  • This course provides information on person-served rights and explains Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation, & Mistreatment (ANEM). The course includes 3 lessons: Rights of People-Served, Defining ANEM, and Reporting ANEM.  
  • This course provides information on person-served rights and explains Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation, & Mistreatment (ANEM). The course includes 3 lessons: Rights of People-Served, Defining ANEM, and Reporting ANEM.  DSP
  • This course explains the difference between a Person-Centered and a System-Centered approach to support. The course also explains how to develop and implement an Individualized Support Plan (PCISP) including using the LifeCourse framework & tools. The course includes 3 lessons: Person-Centered Approach, Developing a Person-Centered Individualized Support Plan and Implementing a Person-Centered Individualized Support Plan.  
  • This course explains the difference between a Person-Centered and a System-Centered approach to support. The course also explains how to develop and implement an Individualized Support Plan (PCISP) including using the LifeCourse framework & tools. The course includes 3 lessons: Person-Centered Approach, Developing a Person-Centered Individualized Support Plan and Implementing a Person-Centered Individualized Support Plan.  
  • This course explains the difference between a Person-Centered and a System-Centered approach to support. The course also explains how to develop and implement an Individualized Support Plan (PCISP) including using the LifeCourse framework & tools. The course includes 3 lessons: Person-Centered Approach, Developing a Person-Centered Individualized Support Plan and Implementing a Person-Centered Individualized Support Plan.  
  • This course explains safe food handling and how to develop strategies for encouraging healthy eating habits; how to modify a diet to meet the health requirements for a person-served; and encourages a healthy lifestyle incorporating exercise, sleep, and mental health. The course includes 4 lessons: Food Safety, General Nutritional Guidelines, Specialized Diets, and Exercise & Healthy Living.  
  • This course explains safe food handling and how to develop strategies for encouraging healthy eating habits; how to modify a diet to meet the health requirements for a person-served; and encourages a healthy lifestyle incorporating exercise, sleep, and mental health. The course includes 4 lessons: Food Safety, General Nutritional Guidelines, Specialized Diets, and Exercise & Healthy Living.  
  • This course explains safe food handling and how to develop strategies for encouraging healthy eating habits; how to modify a diet to meet the health requirements for a person-served; and encourages a healthy lifestyle incorporating exercise, sleep, and mental health. The course includes 4 lessons: Food Safety, General Nutritional Guidelines, Specialized Diets, and Exercise & Healthy Living.  
  • This course explains safe food handling and how to develop strategies for encouraging healthy eating habits; how to modify a diet to meet the health requirements for a person-served; and encourages a healthy lifestyle incorporating exercise, sleep, and mental health. The course includes 4 lessons: Food Safety, General Nutritional Guidelines, Specialized Diets, and Exercise & Healthy Living.  
  • This course explains High-Risk Plans and the DSP’s role; signs and symptoms of illness with person-served; the Fatal Five; and the logistics involved with medical appointments. The course includes 4 lessons: High-Risk Plans, Monitoring Signs & Symptoms, The Fatal Five, and Medical Appointments.  
  • This course explains High-Risk Plans and the DSP’s role; signs and symptoms of illness with person-served; the Fatal Five; and the logistics involved with medical appointments. The course includes 4 lessons: High-Risk Plans, Monitoring Signs & Symptoms, The Fatal Five, and Medical Appointments.  
  • This course explains High-Risk Plans and the DSP’s role; signs and symptoms of illness with person-served; the Fatal Five; and the logistics involved with medical appointments. The course includes 4 lessons: High-Risk Plans, Monitoring Signs & Symptoms, The Fatal Five, and Medical Appointments.  
  • This course explains High-Risk Plans and the DSP’s role; signs and symptoms of illness with person-served; the Fatal Five; and the logistics involved with medical appointments. The course includes 4 lessons: High-Risk Plans, Monitoring Signs & Symptoms, The Fatal Five, and Medical Appointments.  
  • This course explains how to assist people-served with hygiene and grooming tasks; how to support people-served with toileting and incontinence care; and how to encourage and assist people-served with household management tasks. This course consists of 4 lessons: Hygiene, Grooming, Toileting & Incontinence, and Household Management.  
  • This course explains how to assist people-served with hygiene and grooming tasks; how to support people-served with toileting and incontinence care; and how to encourage and assist people-served with household management tasks. This course consists of 4 lessons: Hygiene, Grooming, Toileting & Incontinence, and Household Management.  
  • This course explains how to assist people-served with hygiene and grooming tasks; how to support people-served with toileting and incontinence care; and how to encourage and assist people-served with household management tasks. This course consists of 4 lessons: Hygiene, Grooming, Toileting & Incontinence, and Household Management.  
  • This course explains how to assist people-served with hygiene and grooming tasks; how to support people-served with toileting and incontinence care; and how to encourage and assist people-served with household management tasks. This course consists of 4 lessons: Hygiene, Grooming, Toileting & Incontinence, and Household Management.  
  • T his course provides information on the ‘6 Rights’ of medication administration and consists of 2 lessons: Fundamentals of Medication Administration and Medication Administration Procedur es  
  • T his course provides information on the ‘6 Rights’ of medication administration and consists of 2 lessons: Fundamentals of Medication Administration and Medication Administration Procedur es  
  • This course shares disaster prep tips, information on Bloodborne Pathogens, Universal Precautions, and strategies for lifting and fall protection. The course consists of 3 Lessons: Disaster Preparedness; Bloodborne Pathogens and Universal Precautions; and Lifting, Transferring, Positioning, & Fall Pr otection.
  • This course shares disaster prep tips, information on Bloodborne Pathogens, Universal Precautions, & strategies for lifting and fall protection. The course consists of 3 Lessons: Disaster Preparedness; Bloodborne Pathogens & Universal Precautions; and Lifting, Transferring, Positioning, & Fall Pr otection.
  • This course shares disaster prep tips, information on Bloodborne Pathogens, Universal Precautions, & strategies for lifting and fall protection. The course consists of 3 Lessons: Disaster Preparedness; Bloodborne Pathogens & Universal Precautions; and Lifting, Transferring, Positioning, & Fall Pr otection.
  • This course provides essential information on the key elements of advocacy. The course includes 3 lessons: Self Determination, Self Advocacy, and Role of an Ally.  
  • T his course explains the strategies staff can implement to provide behavioral support for persons served. The course includes 3 lessons: Motivational Interviewing, Reinforcing Replacement Behavior and Avoiding Compassion Fatigue.  
  • This course explains the strategies for alternative communication from sign language to picture communication and using various electronic communication devices. The course is comprised of 3 lessons: Functional Sign Language, Picture Communication Systems, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems.  
  • This course provides information on beginning a new job, including  e valuating techniques to create the best possible first impression at work and  identifying strategies for the first day on a new job.  
  • This course provides information on personalizing employment, including ensure best possible job placement for the person you serve, conducting a job analysis, and designing effective customized employment proposals  
  • This course provides information on employment services, including justifying benefits of employment for people with disabilities, describing the vocational rehabilitation employment services model, and defining supported employment .  
  • This course provides information on discovery, including describing how PC planning supports a job-seeker and how to identify strategies for facilitating discovery activities  
  • This course provides information on empowerment, including describing how to interact with people who have disabilities  an  using person-first language to empower people served.
  • This course provides information on communication, including identifying barriers and strategies to improve communication and recognizing communication styles, including nonverbal strategies  
  • This course provides information on behavioral support, including recognizing what a person-served is communicating through their behavior and identifying ABC’s of the targeted behavior.  
  • This course provides information on job coaching, including designing strategies to help people-served to develop and improve skills and how to fade supports over time to increase independence.  
  • This course provides information on accommodations, including designing strategies to request accommodations from employers in addition to selecting assistive technology to help with independence.  
  •  This course provides information on building relationships, including strategies that assist people-served build connections  
  • This course provides information on collaboration, including developing strategies that can improve teamwork.  
  • This course provides information on development, including partnering with employers and job-seekers and using strategies to network with and educate potential employers.  
  • This course provides information on promoting access, including identifying barriers to accessibility by people with disabilities by using  of principles of Universal Design to find ways to improve accessibility for everyone  
  • This course provides information on cultural impact, including recognize the impact of the history of disability on modern support strategies; apply the principles of Normalization to supporting people with disabilities; apply the principles of the Social Model of Disability to supporting people with disabilities; and recognize how a person's identities and characteristics can intersect to affect their lives.  
  • This course provides information on workplace expectations, including how to identify strategies for building confidence and positive attitude in people-served; how to choose appropriate work clothing that matches employee dress codes and job function; how to evaluate work strategies to identify important aspects of workplace culture; how to detect unwritten rules and expectations by observing workplaces.  
  • This course provides information on job-seeking skills, including present a job seeker's accomplishments in the best possible light in a written resume and practice preparing a job-seeker for common interview scenarios  
  • This course provides information on holistic services, including describe the role of families in employment supports; identify effective ways to collaborate with other professionals; find community resources that can improve the chances of a successful employment outcome; and evaluate transportation options available to people with disabilities.  
  • This course provides information on empowerment, including identifying effective strategies to support self-determination for people-served; evaluate techniques for teaching and supporting self-advocacy for people-served; describe how political policies and a DSP’s own actions impact the independence of people-served.  
  • This course provides information on negotiations, including analyze labor trends; formulate ways to sell employment services to potential employers; and respond to employer concerns about hiring people you serve.  
  • This course provides information on communication, including comparing the use of functional sign language; describe picture communication systems and compare Communication devices and systems for use with people-served.  
  • This course provides information on behavioral support, including identifying ways to help people resolve insecurities and ambivalent feelings, and to help them find the internal motivation to change their behavior; distinguish between effective and ineffective strategies to reinforce replacement behaviors.  
  • This course provides information on documentation, including identify incident types that need to be reported, and the procedures for reporting them.  
  • This course provides information on socializing, including identifying ways to help people-served to develop the social and interpersonal skills they need for their job; and identify ways to help people-served overcome social anxiety.  
  • This course provides information on other employment services, including investigating how a person’s benefits may be impacted by earned income and identify ways that “job readiness” is assessed and supported  
  • This course provides information on entrepreneurship, including compare self-employment with traditional competitive employment and identifies important factors in evaluating a business idea and developing a business plan.  
  • This course provides information on professional development, including CESP certified through APSE.  
  • This course provides information on workplace inclusion, including   distinguishing between institutional & community-based supported employment;  identify interactions and environments that can disable and individual, and d escribe how diversity impacts teams  
  • This course provides essential information on the key elements of advocacy. The course includes 3 lessons: Self Determination, Self Advocacy, and Role of an Ally.  
  • This course provides essential information on the key elements of advocacy. The course includes 3 lessons: Self Determination, Self Advocacy, and Role of an Ally.  
  • T his course explains the strategies staff can implement to provide behavioral support for persons served. The course includes 3 lessons: Motivational Interviewing, Reinforcing Replacement Behavior, and Avoiding Compassion Fatigue.  
  • T his course explains the strategies staff can implement to provide behavioral support for persons served. The course includes 3 lessons: Motivational Interviewing, Reinforcing Replacement Behavior, and Avoiding Compassion Fatigue.  
  • This course explains the strategies for alternative communication from sign language to picture communication and using various electronic communication devices. The course is comprised of 3 lessons: Functional Sign Language, Picture Communication Systems, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems.  
  • This course explains the strategies for alternative communication from sign language to picture communication and using various electronic communication devices. The course is comprised of 3 lessons: Functional Sign Language, Picture Communication Systems, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems.