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Direct Support Professionals Association of Tennessee

Recognition Program


The Direct Support Professional Association of Tennessee (DSPAT) and the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) have a DSP recognition program: Outstanding Tennessee DSP. The program honors performance.

  • Monthly Awards: 3 winners from each region of the state (West, Middle and East)
  • Quarterly Awards: 1 winner from each region
  • Pat on the Back Awards: 75 awards per year covering all regions
  • Above and Beyond Awards: 9 awards per year covering all regions
  • Anyone can recommend a DSP for an award – employers, families, co-workers, a DIDD employee. Requirements for nomination are:
  • Excellent attendance record
  • Volunteers for overtime when needed
  • Takes extra training to improve skills
  • Exceptional relationship with the person(s) supported
  • Supports the person(s) in special activities
  • Has a good relationship with co-workers

The nominated DSP is passed along to a selection committee. All information which might identify that DSP is removed. The committee grades and chooses a person for an award.