Occ. Code 5545030





New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




Direct Support Assistants provide a wide variety of person centered supports and services to individuals with developmental disabilities. These supports and services involve advocating for, encouraging, guiding and teaching individuals in expressing personal choice, developing daily living skills and habits, taking care of their personal needs, assuring community integration, ensuring for their health and safety, and maintaining a healthy, safe home environment. The supports and services performed depend upon the specific abilities of the individuals being served and the nature of the setting where the activities are performed. 




DIRECT SUPPORT ASSISTANTS:  full performance level; under general supervision of clinical or higher level staff, provide direct care to individuals with developmental disabilities in a residential and/or program setting; assist and inspire individuals in their care to attend to their personal daily living needs and to further develop those vocational, nutritional, social, and personal skills necessary to maintain or achieve the highest possible level of independence in the least restrictive environment. 




Direct Support Assistants provide physical and cognitive support to individuals with developmental disabilities to help them lead better lives.  In accordance with habilitative plans, they guide and teach individuals supported to live the lives they choose to live. Incumbents perform and/or take a lead role in one or more of the following duties within a work site:


Putting People First


-          Demonstrates respect for all others.


-          Assists individuals in sorting through choices.


-          Encourages and supports problem-solving and coping skills.


-          Demonstrates the ability to discuss the rights and responsibilities to which an individual is entitled.


-          Assists in the development, implementation and on-going evaluation of service plans that are based on the individuals preferences, needs and interests.


Building & Maintaining Positive Relationships


-          Teaches and reinforces the use of a variety of communication techniques to meet the individuals needs.


-          Guides individuals through motor exercises designed to increase physical coordinative functions to encourage self expression.


-          Teaches and reinforces principles of human growth and development, including human sexuality, as determined by each individual's developmental level and program plan.


-          Accompanies individuals to community activities including worksites, cultural, religious and social events, day programs, visits to health practitioners; and aids individuals in developing awareness and use of community resources and in interacting with others.


-          Transports/arranges for transport of individuals to community events.


-          Helps individuals to develop/maintain positive interpersonal relationships with their peers, with others in their families, and with others in the community.


-           Aids in explaining feelings, resolving conflicts, teaching/reinforcing acceptable means of dissipating frustration, and anger.


-          Accompanies individuals to dances, camping trips, swimming, horseback riding, basketball, or other recreational events of their choice. 


-          Assists in selection and teaching of appropriate community inclusion leisure activities.


Demonstrating Professionalism


-          Understands and follows the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) code of ethics.


-          Engages in mutually respectful partnership/relationships with the individuals, family members, co-workers and others.


-          Complies with agency regulations and policies related to confidentiality.


-          Complies with agency regulations and policies related to time and attendance.


-          Actively participates at staff meetings by communicating observations concerning progress and reaction to various therapy programs.


-          Advocates for alternative programs or procedures at planning meetings based on an individuals personal preferences.


-          Respects personal and professional boundaries.


-          Demonstrates respect for diversity and inclusion.


-          Recognizes the impact that discrimination based on disability, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc. may have on individuals.


Supporting Safety


-          Supports the safety of all individuals in everyday situations.


-          Performs/teaches routine housekeeping duties as appropriate, such as dusting, washing floors and walls, cleaning bathrooms, and vacuuming rugs.


-          Follows safety procedures in home environment by mopping up spills and reporting unsafe conditions.


-          Teaches and reinforces fire safety procedures.  Checks to see that fire exits are clear, night-lights and exit signs are on, windows are locked, etc.


-          Stores supplies and assures that storage areas are kept in a neat and orderly condition.


-          Assists individuals, as needed, in bed making.


-          Stores and replaces linens.


-          Assists in various household inventories.


-          Aids in the selection, purchase, care and use of age appropriate personal belongings for individuals with developmental disabilities.


-          Performs/teaches minor and routine maintenance tasks such as changing light bulbs, fuses, replacement of faucet washers; and obtains repair services for appliances.


-          Performs/teaches routine removal of trash, cleaning of trash containers, ashtrays, etc.


-          Teaches/performs outdoor maintenance tasks and repairs of residence, yard, garden, and walks; reports need for or obtains repair services for automobiles, vans, mowers, etc.


-          Checks fire equipment and reports any malfunction.


-          Conducts fire drills following the fire evacuation plan.


-          Understands executes specific emergency preparedness plans for the location in which he/she is assigned.


Having a Home


-          Supports individuals to live in the home of their choice.


-          Supports the individual by ensuring a comfortable home environment that is clean, neat and kept in an orderly condition.


-          Teaches/assists with feeding, grooming, and care of any pets that may be in a home.


-          Teaches/supervises/participates in a variety of leisure and recreational activities, crafts, projects, seasonal and permanent home decoration.


-          Assists in planning, supervising and conducting holiday celebrations that are observed or selected by individuals in the home.


Being Active & Productive in Society


-          Supports the individuals career and employment goals.


-          Assist in the development of skills to help the individual meet the productivity expectations of the workplace.


-          Teaches acceptable work habits, e.g., punctuality, dress and grooming, to enable individuals to develop readiness for work outside the home, or in support of individuals' habilitative goals.


-          Supports active participation in the community.


-          Teaches money management principles to individuals; and completes/aids in completion of banking activities.


-          Provides an accurate accounting of all financial transactions made on behalf of individuals in their care.


Supporting Good Health


-          Acts as a role model for positive behavior.


-          Understands the health care information needed to support an individual with developmental disabilities.


-          Teaches and reinforces accepted infection control and personal grooming techniques; assists in bathing, dental care, hair and nail care, personal hygiene, toileting, incontinence care, and menstrual care in a way that demonstrates dignity and self respect.


-          Teaches and assists individuals as needed in dressing, clothing selection, storage, laundering and repair of clothing and accessories; helps them to shop for clothing.


-          Maintains an adequate supply of and accounting of personal clothing and possessions.


-          Teaches and assists individuals as needed in proper use and care of shavers and razors, eyeglasses, hearing aids, prostheses as prescribed by appropriate medical practitioner.


-          Administers and teaches individuals first aid treatments; administers cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques and performs other health-related techniques as required.


-          Takes, records, and reports temperatures, blood pressures, pulse rate, weight, and other significant symptoms/health-related occurrences; aids individuals in understanding, recording, and reporting such factors.


-          Reports unusual incidents and physical or behavioral symptoms promptly and accurately to the supervisor.


-          Applies valid and accepted limits for inappropriate behavior and helps control and restrain individuals who exhibit challenging behaviors.


-          Administers prescribed medications and treatments; teaches, observes, reports problems and progress in self-administration of medications programs; assists individuals in achieving more independence in administration of medications; teaches use of skin care lotions, topical ointments, eye and ear drops and assists in their use as needed.


-          Accompanies individuals to medical, dental, and other health-related appointments; delivers prescriptions to pharmacy, takes medication to home site and logs same; and instructs and observes individuals in use of those prescribed medications.


-          Monitors and reports any adverse side effects of medication or treatments provided.


-          Assists individuals in eating who cannot feed themselves independently and teaches dining skills according to an individuals need.


-          Teaches individuals to eat in a family-style setting; models and teaches mealtime socialization skills.


-          Teaches and assists individuals to plan, shop, store, prepare and serve meals using accepted nutritional standards; and to clean kitchen and dining areas, and dispose of leftover food safely.


-          Understands identifies abuse as described in regulations.


-          Recognizes concepts related to the prevention of abuse.


-          Reports possible abuse to the appropriate person(s) or entities in a timely manner.




Possession of a high school or a high school equivalency diploma (such as a GED) or higher and successful completion of the Direct Support Assistant Traineeship.


Incumbents are also required to possess a valid license to operate a motor vehicle in New York State and to meet physical, medical and agility standards.  Candidates will be required to meet additional requirements to provide care to the developmentally disabled including clearance from the New York State Child Abuse Registry and the Medicaid Fraud Prevention and Detection Database.  In addition, a criminal background check will be conducted.


Date:  2/14


NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.