Coronavirus Emergency Sparks Demand for Caretakers

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The coronavirus pandemic has sparked a demand for caretakers who assist people with disabilities.

Arian Smedley, Assistant Superintendent for the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities (ACBDD) told WOUB News the statewide demand was there before the coronoavirus. “Now with the coronavirus, we are seeing that the demand is higher.”

Smedley said there is a shortage of Direct Support Professional (DSP), in particular. DSPs are workers who help take care of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This work may be done in a group home or a home-like setting.

“Conditions vary upon the level of dependency of the person with disabilities. It is really strenuous work,” she said.

The work can include helping with their personal hygiene and grooming, feeding, shopping for groceries, helping paying bills and so on. No certification is required as this will be provided once the person in hired.

“All you need is a caring heart,” Smedley said, as well as being over 18, having a High School Degree/GED, a valid driver licence and a few other requirements you can review by clicking here.

The hiring is not done by the ACBDD, but by local providers.

Because the ACBDD is a local government agency providing support to an average of 700 individuals with developmental disabilities in the county, they are assisting the local agencies in recruiting potential employees. Smedley said that the hourly pay base is $10-$11 and up.

If you are interested or need more information, you can contact Tristin Lawrence, SSA Manager for the ACBDD at (740) 541-9613 or

This is a list provided by the ACBDD of the local agencies that are in need of Direct Support Professionals:

  • Buckeye Community Services
  • Echoing Hills
  • Family Support Services
  • Inclusions
  • ResCare
  • RHDD
  • Red Door
  • Sech-Kar
  • SOAR