• The entire 120-hour DSP training program cannot be presented in less than 21 calendar days of when it starts.
  • Must be completed within 120 calendar days of hiring persons as DSPs.
  • Only exception is if a community college or other educational institution conducts the classroom training of the agency's DSP training program. In these instances, the completion date is tied to the end of the term, semester or trimester.

During the classroom training DSPs must:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the Informational Competencies listed below and achieve a minimum of 80% accuracy in understanding the classroom material.
  • Each program shall be a minimum of 40 hours of classroom instruction, excluding breaks and lunches.

For online training:

The following online training programs have been approved as meeting all DSP classroom training requirements:

  • Only accepted for classroom component of the DSP training program.  Documentation for all other areas (OJT; background checks, etc.) are required in addition to documentation of online learning.
  • Periodically throughout each module, the trainee will have activities to complete to help assess their understanding of the information.  Trainees are required to print the completed activities for review by Training Coordinator or DSP Instructor and are to be maintained as part of the training record.
  • When trainees complete a module, they are required to complete and print a checklist confirming they read all sections and completed all activities to be reviewed by Training Coordinator or DSP Instructor and maintained as part of the training record.
  • After completing checklist, trainees are required to take a quiz for the completed module.  Trainees must score 80% or higher to successfully pass a quiz.  Trainees are required to print each successful quiz completion to be maintained as part of the training record.

Agencies may allocate additional hours that best fit their specific training needs. Hours for each module are as follows:

Module 1: Introduction to Developmental Disabilities (4 Hours)

  1. Agency's values related to service provision
  2. Psychosocial needs of individuals receiving supports, their family and others
  3. Basics of human growth and development
  4. Basic characteristics of developmental disabilities
  5. Some major causes of mental retardation
  6. Difference between mental retardation and mental illness
  7. Potential prevention methods of mental retardation
  8. Levels of functioning and context
  9. Importance of emphasizing abilities not disabilities
  10. Methods of communication
  11. DSP role on the community support team(CST)/interdisciplinary team (IDT)
  12. Service Plans
  13. DSP role in the life of a person receiving supports and services

Module 2: Human Rights (4 Hours)

  1. Historical context of the rights issues
  2. Basic civil, legal, human and property rights and rights to protection
  3. What a Human Rights Committee (HRC) is and does
  4. Role of HRC within an agency
  5. HRC's role in preventing abuse, neglect and exploitation
  6. Behavior Plan flow, including relationship to the Behavior Management Committee
  7. Challenge between balancing high quality supports, keeping people safe, teaching people to access their community, and ensuring protection of individual rights
  8. Principles of advocacy
  9. Confidentiality Act, DMHDD Code, DHS regulations, DPH regulations and relevant state laws
  10. DSP role in supporting primary decisions
  11. Role of guardians and nature of guardianship
  12. Agency policies

Module 3: Prevention/Recognition/Intervention of Abuse/Neglect/Exploitation (3 Hours)

  1. Role a trust producing, healthy, engaging environment plays in preventing abuse, neglect and exploitation
  2. Forms of abuse
  3. Forms of neglect
  4. Forms of exploitation
  5. Rule 50's relationship to abuse, neglect and exploitation
  6. Information and strategies to prevent abuse, neglect and exploitation
  7. Role of a supporting work environment in preventing abuse, neglect and exploitation
  8. Procedures related to preventing, identifying and reporting abuse, neglect and exploitation

Module 4: Human Interaction and Communication (4 Hours)

  1. Definition of communication
  2. Different modes of nonverbal and verbal communication/interpersonal relationships with individuals receiving supports, family members and others
  3. Different types of speech deficiencies
  4. Different types of assistive technology
  5. Principles of active listening
  6. Individuals' preferred modes of communication
  7. Communication program implementation techniques
  8. Methods of communication assessment and documentation
  9. Importance of establishing rapport
  10. Types of relationships
  11. Principles of control vs. support
  12. How information is transferred among staff members
  13. Importance of consistency and continuity

Module 5: Service Plan Development and Implementation (4 Hours)

The DSP demonstrates knowledge of:

  1. Philosophy of independent living
  2. Process of person-centered planning and implementation with regards to DSP role
  3. Components of service plan implementation and documentation and DSP role
  4. Strengths, abilities, desires, concerns, needs, likes, dislikes of individuals
  5. Principles of the IDT/community support team approach
  6. Ethical standards of practice for DSPs
  7. Support service limitations
  8. Individuals' goals and desired outcomes
  9. Implementation strategies-graduated assistance, etc.
  10. Individuals' family/guardians' involvement
  11. Concepts of community habilitation
  12. Specific services and equipment needed by the individual
  13. Availability, access and contacts within community resources
  14. Principles of adult learning
  15. Principles of teamwork and team building related to basic support planning and procedures
  16. Resources available for vocational opportunities
  17. History and use of facility/agency records
  18. Principles of record keeping
  19. Documentation system (written and verbal) of the service plan assessment, evaluation and skills-based training
  20. DSP role with regards to record keeping and documentation
  21. Confidentiality Act components
  22. Release of information guidelines

Module 6: Basic Health and Safety (15 Hours)

  1. Injury prevention procedures
  2. Red flags of general medical conditions
  3. Vital sign procedures
  4. Who to notify about emergency health and safety concerns/observations
  5. Basic health observations skills
  6. Basic medical symptoms
  7. Universal precautions
  8. Seizure protocols
  9. Principles of documentation related to health issues
  10. Principles of infection control
  11. Principles of good body mechanics
  12. Basic environmental safety principles
  13. Food safety and sanitation regulations
  14. Nutritional information and diets
  15. Fire suppression and evacuation procedures
  16. Disaster procedures
  17. DSP role in ensuring the individual's and his/her safety
  18. Role of bodily functions
  19. Dimension of human sexuality
  20. Activities of daily living (ADL)
  21. Importance of personal care and hygiene

CPR/First Aid (6 Hours)

Approved First Aid and CPR Course (American Red Cross or American Heart Association only) or hold current certification as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) through an examination approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health and/or National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).

  • CPR procedures
  • First aid procedures
  • Heimlich maneuver
  • Vital sign assessment
  • The steps to take when an individual appears to be unconscious
  • The signs of heart attack and the steps to take
  • The do's and don'ts of burn care
  • The signals of head and spine injuries
  • When to call for emergency medical assistance
  • The signs of heat and cold related illness

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