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Current Center News

Winter 2018

President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities Releases Report
on Direct Support Workforce

Report to the President 2017 coverThe President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) has released its 2017 report, America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis: Effects on People with Intellectual Disabilities, Families, Communities and the U.S. Economy. Through this report, the PCPID identified the Direct Support workforce crisis as the most important topic to address in its Annual Report to the President.

The current state of the Direct Support Professional workforce is a systemic and nationwide concern. The average DSP wage is $10.72, most work two or three jobs, and the average annual DSP turnover rate is 45%. The report also explores: how these issues affect individuals, families, and human services systems; the factors that contribute to these issues; and promising practices to strengthen the direct support workforce.

PCPID serves in an advisory capacity to the President of the United States and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) promoting policies and initiatives that support independence and lifelong inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in their respective communities. The committee includes representatives from several federal agencies and 13 citizen members.


The Boggs Center’s Executive Director, Deborah Spitalnik, PhD, contributed to the report as a member of PCPID. Appointed by the Obama Administration, Dr. Spitalnik served on the PCPID from 2014 – May 2016, having previously served from 2011 to 2013, from 1994 to 2001, and as Chair from 2000 to 2001.

The report was prepared by
Amy Hewitt, PhD, working with Charlie Lakin, PhD, Claire Benway and Julie Kramme, MA, of the Research and Training Center on Community Living, University of Minnesota, and Joe MacBeth, Executive Director of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals. Individuals with ID/DD, family members, and organizations also contributed to the report with information and stories about the direct support workforce crisis.

View full report (PDF) or plain-language version (PDF).

The Boggs Center Welcomes Karen Paulvin, MS, Prof. Dipl.

Karen PaulvinKaren Paulvin recently joined The Boggs Center as a Training and Consultation Specialist. She provides training and technical assistance to schools involved in the NJ Positive Behavior Supports in Schools project, a partnership between the New Jersey State Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, and The Boggs Center.

Karen earned her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University with a major in psychology. She went on to earn a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD and a Professional Diploma in School Psychology from Kean University, Union, NJ. She is also certified as a school psychologist in New Jersey.

Prior to working at The Boggs Center, Karen worked as a school psychologist in the public school setting with various grade levels and populations including students with behavioral disabilities and autism. As a school psychologist, she has functioned as a child study team member and case manager, conducted psychological evaluations and functional behavioral assessments, and developed behavioral intervention plans. In addition, Karen provided school based services including consultation with teachers and staff, counseling to students, and crisis intervention for students. She also provided parent training to parents of children with autism. Karen also worked for more than ten years as a consultant/tutor for Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center (DDDC) providing home based services to children with autism.

Registration and Awards Nominations Open for 26th Annual Facing the Future Conference co-sponsored with NJ APSE

Facing the Future conference imageThe 26th Annual Facing the Future Conference, Hired: Blueprints for Employment Success, will be held on March 23, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick.

The 2018 conference features a keynote presentation by Josh Blue and 27 dynamic workshops. Continuing Education credits are available.

REGISTER: Conference registration brochure
(PDF Form)
Early bird deadline: February 9, 2018

EXHIBIT: Exhibitor and Advertisement brochure
(PDF Form)
Deadline: February 9, 2018

NOMINATE: NJ APSE Employment Award Nominations (online survey)
Deadline: February 9, 2018

For additional information and updates, visit the Facing the Future conference page



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