The single biggest barrier to implementation of Ohio’s developmental disability system’s strategic objectives is the lack of an available direct support workforce. Reducing waiting lists, county board divestiture of day services, ICF downsizing, and developmental center downsizing all depend ultimately on an increasing number of quality direct support professionals (DSPs).

OPRA has launched DSPOhio in direct response to Ohio’s developmental disabilities system’s number one challenge-the workforce crisis. DSPOhio is a unique statewide DSP recruitment effort that combines data-driven, targeted DSP branding and recruitment advertising with an on-line direct link that connects potential employees with provider employers. To effectively recruit DSPs on an ongoing basis a process is required to increase awareness of and familiarity with the role of DSP. This moves people to consider it as a career option, apply for a job and hopefully enjoy their career as a DSP so much that they stay in the role, perhaps advance in their career and become an advocate for the role with others.

DSPOhio consists of five major components:

Branding. Through the use of continual multi-media purchases, DSPOhio will continuously build awareness and understanding of the term DSP, the rewarding nature inherent in the work and the potential career opportunities available. DSPOhio has partnered with Ohio-based advertising firms to develop manage social media advertising and local television commercials.

Connectivity. Using a data-driven, integrated marketing communications strategy, DSPOhio focuses on provider identified employee demographics and offer interested employees a simple way to immediately connect with prospective employers.

Website. The DSPOhio website will be the conduit between interested employee and provider employer. The website will also offer more in-depth information on the role and responsibilities of a DSP, testimonials, videos and will allow provider specific information.

Sustainability.  DSPOhio is a subscription-based service open to all DD providers. The first year of DSPOhio subscriptions is currently free thanks to generous support from multiple County Boards of Developmental Disabilities and the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council. After the first year, each subscribing provider will pay an annual fee with an opportunity for advertising. Vendors will also have an opportunity to advertise. Revenues from subscriptions and advertising will be reinvested back into multi-media buys (and the cost of operations) thereby ensuring an ongoing year after year effort. The more revenue from subscriptions the more power in the media buys. 

Metrics. All components of DSPOhio are data-driven and measurable allowing for continual learning and adaptation to become more and more sophisticated and effective. Effectiveness can be assessed by looking at how paid media is leveraged to drive people to the website. Other metrics include new visitors to the website, time on site, video views, video completion rates, what pages people visit, number of lead generation forms completed, etc. Finally, it will be necessary for subscribing providers to share how many website visitors turn into applicants and how many applicants are hired as DSPs.


Click above to view the slides from the April 25, 2018 webinar.


Media Content

Video Advertisements. There are assorted 15-seconds, 30-seconds, and 60-second videos that will be placed throughout social media sites. Click here to download all three videos at different resolutions. After opening the link you will need to click a “reload” button, then click the orange “Download All” button. The files will be downloaded to your computer in a zip file. There are various file sizes for each of the videos so you can upload them to your platforms. You can also embed the video by visiting the videos on Youtube.


Banner Advertisements. The nine below images will be used across social media in paid/sponsored advertisements. You can download any of the images by selecting the image, right-clicking in the pop-up image, and selecting “save as”.




This project is being funded partly by an Ohio DD Council grant, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, the Ohio Provider Resource Association, and donations from local providers and County Boards of Developmental Disabilities. 

For more information on DSPOhio or to learn how you can donate to the media campaign, please contact the ORPA office.