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The Cultural Arts Center at SpArc Philadelphia fosters creativity, self-confidence, and community connections for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through classes in visual arts, music, movement and theater, outings to cultural venues, and opportunities to work with other artists and arts-based organizations. 

The Cultural Arts Center is looking for Direct Support Professionals who can work together with program participants to help them learn more about the arts. Direct Support Professionals teach skills and techniques in visual arts, ceramics, music, movement, performance and nutrition, while helping participants to develop their daily living and social skills. Direct Support Professionals also help participants gain greater access to the Philadelphia arts community by assisting them in preparing for exhibitions and performances and assisting the Director in connecting them with other artists or arts organizations. This position requires a background in the visual arts, music, performance, and/or dance. 

Position Responsibilities

  • Create and implement developmentally appropriate art enrichment activities for individuals served. Encourage high level engagement, appropriate socialization, choice, and stimulation through the arts and other supervised activities.
  • Utilize a variety of materials exposing consumers to varied art forms. Know and implement the safe and effective use of materials and related supplies.
  • Supports implementation of Individual Written Program Plans (IWPP’s) and a Behavioral Management Plan for each individual served. Provide feedback on consumer progress including recommendations. Participates in program planning and development working closely with Program Specialists and other team members to ensure a well-integrated approach to consumer care.
  • Plan and provide opportunities for new recreational and educational experiences. Encourage and support the involvement of consumers in development activities such as Job Club or Literacy Class. Ensure consumers transition from activities safely and without incident.
  • Know and follow Department of Public Welfare (DPW) regulations and agency policy in all areas including confidentiality, attendance, unusual incidents, documentation, abuse, restrictive procedures, and all matters pertaining to medication administration and documentation and medical issues. Promptly asking supervisor to clarify any areas of concern.
  • Provide training and supervision in Activities of Daily Living, dressing, eating, personal hygiene, cleaning, etc., and promote participation and independence in all these areas. Provide personal care to consumers as needed.
  • CPR certified and trained in First Aid.
  • Serve as a mentor and coach to individuals. Provide guidance and direction while being a positive role model to the individual. Ensure the safety and well-being of the individual at all times. Safely transport individuals adhering to all safety policies and laws; provide assistance as necessary.
  • Ensure all interactions reflect an understanding of people with disabilities, maximize consumer choice and treat all participants with personal dignity.
  • Anticipate possible problems or challenges and work to prevent unnecessary conflict. Problem-solve issues regarding consumer situations, with or without assistance.
  • Provide crisis intervention as necessary to support consumers. Uses the least restrictive emergency procedure when necessary to protect the individual from injuring self or others. Follows intervention policies and regulations. Ensure that unusual incident standards are understood and followed.
  • Immediate bring to the attention of supervisor and program specialist any concerns about consumer.
  • Ensure all documents and consumer records are accurate and submitted timely as per agency policy and procedures and regulations. Accurately completes time cards according to regulatory and program standards.
  • Positively and professionally represent SpArc Philadelphia at all times.
  • Develop trusting professional relationships with families and support staff while maintaining professional boundaries between families, other support staff and individuals served.
  • Participate in skill development and professional growth opportunities.


  1. High School Diploma or GED. Minimum one (1) year experience or training certification in working with people with disabilities in a health care or social services setting or in the arts. Valid driver’s license preferred.
  2. Clear criminal record and child abuse history, complete medical and drug screen (paid for by SpArc Philadelphia).
  3. Demonstrated competence in varied art mediums and knowledge of how to use the arts as an engagement strategy for people with disabilities.
  4. Effective verbal and written communication skills including communicating with people from diverse backgrounds and varied abilities.
  5. Understands the needs of consumers and adjusts behavior accordingly. Able to demonstrate compassion, empathy, and positive attitude while supporting independence.
  6. Able to provide crisis intervention, including de-escalation of behavior.
  7. Demonstrates the organization’s core competencies and solid customer service skills.
  8. Effective word processing skills using Microsoft Office products.
  9. Ability to translate regulations into practice. Must understand the importance of effective record keeping.
  10. Ability to form effective partnerships with all stakeholders, including family, caregivers and funders.
  11. Must be willing to obtain DPW medication administration certification.

Physical Environment/Working Conditions

Open classroom type space. May be required to lift and/or physically support consumers independently or with other staff. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

How to apply:

Qualified candidates should send a cover letter and resumé to, using "DSP Cultural Arts" as the subject line.

No phone calls please.

Neurodiversity in the Workplace Partner Organizations