Benchmark Blog

ANCOR Names Benchmark’s Yared Belew 2015 Direct Support Professional of the Year for Indiana

May 08, 2015
Benchmark Blog

Yared BelewFort Wayne, IN. – On May 5, the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) recognized Yared Belew of Benchmark Human Services (formerly AWS) in Fort Wayne as the 2015 Direct Support Professional of the Year for Indiana. “We at Benchmark are proud of Yared. The award shows the dedication he has to support people with disabilities and reflects the quality of services provided by our organization,” said Bill Swiss, President of Benchmark.

Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) – also referred to as caregivers, personal assistants and direct care or homecare aides – provide a rich mosaic of daily support services for the many Americans with disabilities. DSPs are integral in helping people with disabilities participate in their communities and lead full and independent lives. Since 2007, ANCOR has honored exceptional Direct Support Professionals with the Direct Support Professional Recognition Award for exemplary work in furthering community inclusion and full participation for the many Americans living with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities.

“The work that DSPs do is so important, not just to the people with disabilities they serve, but also to the social and economic lives of their communities,” said Chris Sparks, president of ANCOR. “DSPs like Yared deserve recognition for the difficult but inspiring work they do every day.”

“When it comes to supporting community living, inclusion and choice for people with disabilities, DSPs are the front line workers we rely on,” said Barbara Merrill, CEO of ANCOR. “These awards are just one small measure of saying thank you to individuals like Yared.”

“This year, ANCOR received hundreds of nominations highlighting DSPs from across the nation,” continued Merrill. “Yared stood out and he can be proud of the difference his work has made for the people he supports at Benchmark.”

ANCOR’s Direct Support Professional Recognition Award is given to those who personify the values of ANCOR’s National Advocacy Campaign, which works to ensure a well-trained and sustainable direct support workforce. Nominees are judged on the work they’ve done to build social networks, substantive community participation and advocating for the people they serve.

About Benchmark Human Services (formerly AWS)
Founded in 1960, the mission of Benchmark Human Services is to help children and adults with disabilities live as independently as possible, be included in the community, and function at their maximum potential. For more information about Benchmark’s services visit

About ANCOR. The American Network of Community Options and Resources is a national trade association representing more than 800 private providers of community living and employment supports and services to more than 500,000 individuals with disabilities with a workforce that’s 400,000 strong. As a nonprofit organization, ANCOR successfully addresses the needs and interests of private providers before Congress and federal agencies, continually advocating for the crucial role private providers play in enhancing and supporting the lives of people with disabilities and their families. For more information about ANCOR, visit

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