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Being A DSP Provides Experience for SLP Major Whitney


Published on February 24, 2020

Our Direct Support Professional (DSP) position provides great experience for a wide range of majors and areas of study. Whitney, MSUM Speech Language Pathology major gave us her perspective on how working at CCRI has (and will) benefit her schooling.

text How has your work at CCRI benefitted you in your SLP studies?

A huge part of speech-language pathology (SLP) is communication. At CCRI, I’ve had exposure to many different forms of communication. In the SLP field, it’s important to help each individual achieve an effective form of communication. Just like the SLP field, working at CCRI encourages me each day to find new and creative ways to help individuals with disabilities communicate their wants and needs. My role as a DSP (direct support professional) is preparing me with first-hand experience that will be valuable as a future SLP professional.

What experiences have you had that will help you in the future?

I work with individuals at CCRI on their own specific communication goals, just like in speech therapy. I’ve learned through my experiences as a DSP that emphasizing an individual’s strengths and interests while working on a goal can be an effective way to help keep them motivated while also working on better communication skills.

One of my favorite experiences was helping an individual and his family adjust to a new AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) device. I learned how to program his device to help serve his communication needs. It brought me great joy when he had a communication breakthrough. Everyone deserves a voice in this world!


How would working at CCRI benefit other SLP students?

Working with individuals with disabilities is a team approach. My experience as a DSP has helped me develop the skills that it takes to be a part of a team. This is such a crucial aspect of the speech-language pathology field. A team of parents, professionals, and caretakers need to work together to help an individual establish goals and work towards completing them. Working at CCRI is a great way to establish professional and person-centered skills that will ultimately help your SLP career.

I encourage anyone who is pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in speech-language pathology to consider working at CCRI. There aren’t many entry-level jobs out there that will give you the hands-on experience and connections that CCRI will. It’s a rewarding job that will help push you to be the best person and future SLP that you can be.

Learn more about our positions on our website.

Follow Whitney on Twitter for a first hand look at what a DSP does: @CCRIWhitney