Frequently Asked Questions

What is a DSP?

DSPs, or Direct Support Professionals, are employed by agency providers or are self-employed. These individuals are responsible for providing direct services to people with developmental disabilities. They help the people they serve live, learn, work and play in their communities. But most of all, they are the backbone of the developmental disabilities field.

What are a DSP's responsibilities?

There are many opportunities for DSPs, both those who work for an agency and independent DSPs. A DSP's responsibility can include:

  • Residential services - supporting people where they live through teaching independent living skills and healthy living practices, supporting people with their everyday activities and providing addtional support in other areas of life when needed
  • Day support - supporting people during the day through working side by side with people as they participate in the community, taking small groups to volunteer or on recreational trips and empowering people to try new things
  • Employment - supporting people in finding and keeping a job through helping people identify their talents and goals, connecting people with employers and provide on-site support to ensure the person's success

How do I become a certified DSP?

For more information about becoming a:

I want to work for a provider agency, where can I find a list of local agencies?

Our Provider List includes all Miami County services providers who serve people with developmental disabilities and their families in our area. For a more comprehensive list of provider agencies in Ohio, reviews provided by individuals and families and other information, visit Provider Guide Plus. You may also learn more about the role of DSPs by visiting If you need help navigating this process, please contact Provider Relations Resource Support Coordinator Jan Wintrow at (937) 440-3090 or

Does Riverside offer any training for DSPs?

In collaboration with The Academy for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), the Miami County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Riverside) offers a variety of classes free of charge to certified service providers. All classes are held in the Training Room at Riverside (located at 1625 Troy Sidney Road, Troy) unless otherwise advertised. Riverside also offers trainings regarding the MUI/UI Rule, Individual Rights, Health & Welfare Alerts and provider and SSA joint meetings. These trainings are also held in the Training Room at Riverside and are taught by Riverside Behavior Support Coordinators, Investigative Agents (IAs) and other staff. For a complete list of classes provided by The Academy and those instructed by Riverside staff, please visit our Provider Training page.

Does Riverside offer any networking opportunities for providers?

As a way to improve communication between Riverside as Miami County's local board of DD and the agencies and individuals providing direct services, Riverside established the Provider Partnership Network (PPN) in 2016. PPN membership is open to all service providers. The group meets quarterly, and their meetings include updates from the County Board, as well as time for questions and discussion. Meetings cover topics such as DODD/OPRA Back to Basics Highlights and County Board Accreditation Results. We also maintain personal connections, send a monthly email newsletter and email updates from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) and other agencies. For more about PPN, please contact Quality & Innovations Director Becky Snell at (937) 440-3027 or

What is the relationship between the County Board and providers?

As the Miami County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Riverside coordinates and funds the direct care services provider agencies and independent providers provide to people with developmental disabilities in Miami County. These services include adult day services, in-home care, job training/support and transportation. Riverside does provide services such as Early Intervention for kids ages 0-3, case management, housing coordination, recreation and Special Olympics programs, advocacy training, family education and training for DSPs. However, Riverside does not employ DSPs, bill for direct services or compete for provider business.

Does Riverside offer DSP resource support assistance?

As Riverside's Provider Relations Resource Support Coordinator, Jan Wintrow offers support services to any certified Miami County Direct Support Professional (DSP) facing personal crisis or lack of resources or is interested in career or skill development. Jan can help DSPs with job retention, personal barriers, work supports, education and training. Benefits of connecting with Jan include personal crisis help, connection to social service agencies, on-site assistance and flexible scheduling. Your identity and participation in these services are confidential. We will not share your information with your employer unless you grant us permission. For more about our Provider Support Services, please click here.

I want to start my own provider agency. How do I start that process?

Visit the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) website for more information about starting your own provider agency, including what documentation is needed, the application process and more. Their site also has information about how to become an agency CEO. For details, click here.

I want to become an Independent Provider. How do I start that process?

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) shares the information you need to become an independent provider, including a list of required identification, tips for a smoother application process and required training. To visit their website, click here. You can also visit to learn more about Direct Support Professionals (DSPs), their job duties and career opportunities near you. To visit their website, click here. If you need help navigating the certification/application process, please contact Provider Referral and Linkage Coordinator Janice Thebert at (937) 440-3076 or