This special issue on the direct support workforce highlights the critical role of the direct support workforce in the quality of life of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in the United States. Although there is increasing demand for this workforce, challenges in the recruitment, training, and retention of direct support professionals (DSPs) threatens the safety, health, and full inclusion of people with IDD living in the community. This special issue brings to the forefront current research to understand this workforce and their importance and to consider strategies to address the complex challenges facing DSPs so that people with disabilities can live and thrive in their communities.

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