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It is the mission
of Disabled Persons Action Organization
to provide quality and effective individualized services to developmentally disabled children and adults in Jefferson and Lewis Counties.  The services are primarily geared toward helping families cope with the stress of caring for their disabled loved ones.



Welcome to the online home of Disabled Persons Action Organization!

For 40 years, DPAO has provided needed services to residents of Jefferson and Lewis Counties.  We encourage you to learn more about the programs and services of our organization.  We also hope that you return regularly to this site for up to date information on our cultural productions as well as our Summer Concert Series.



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CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION TO DPAO!!!



Image result for developmental disabilities awareness month 2019

Art by Gary Murrel

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is highlighting the unique contributions of New Yorkers with developmental disabilities!

To raise awareness and further promote inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all areas of community life, OPWDD is sharing a new profile on each day of the month.  The campaign, aptly called “One of A Kind,”  launched March 1 at www.opwdd.ny.gov/OneofAKind. Every day, an online calendar will reveal a new person or people with developmental disabilities, encouraging visitors to reflect upon their individuality and how their contributions enhance the fabric of our communities and our state.

We also want to recognize and celebrate the parents, family members, self-advocates, providers, staff members, direct support professionals and volunteers whose commitment and compassion help support, and positively change community perceptions of, people with developmental disabilities. It is awareness, acceptance and inclusion that provide individuals with the opportunity to make their own contributions to the community at large.

#DDAwareness19 / #NYSOPWDD / #OneofAKind19

 

 

Joseph Rich, DPAO Founder and DPAO Foundation Board of Directors President, is the recipient of the Israel A. Shapiro Citizenship Award.  CONGRATULATIONS JOE!!! 

Click Here to read all about it!

 

THANK YOU DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS!!!

Thank you to all of our Direct Support Professionals (DSP’s) for all that you do!  We recognize all of your hard work and the skills necessary for you to do your job.  DSP's have the most impact on those individuals we serve! 

In an effort to continue this recognition, we plan on spotlighting a Direct Support Professional of the Month ... every month!

MARCH 2019's DSP ...

 

Kerry Palmer

 

Kerry is a very dedicated DSP who has expanded her work to helping other DSP’s find fun and free or low cost activities that their participants may be interested in. Kerry has started a Facebook group where all DSP’s in the area can post any activities that they find. This helps individuals budget their activity money effectively as well as provides opportunities to learn new things and try something they may not have thought of before. Kerry consistently goes above and beyond in all aspects of her job as a DSP and her enthusiasm for our individuals is truly admirable.

Core Competencies: Being Active and Productive in Society and Putting People First 

 

FEBRUARY 2019's DSP ...

Kelsey Fraser

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“I want to nominate Kelsey Fraser for DSP of the Month. She is working with an individual who she knew prior to working as his staff. Before she was able to actually work with him, she came into the office to get his goals and wanted to work on a plan for him. She knew that he needed to have a set schedule and set up a schedule that would accommodate him. They volunteer at different places and go for walks and do things he enjoys. She acknowledges his accomplishments and challenges him. This unique staff member puts a lot of time into her job and the progress he has made shows. I have been impressed with her since the beginning and she definitely goes above and beyond.”

~DPAO Employee

Core Competency: Putting People First, Getting into the Community & Maintaining Positive Relationships

 

JANUARY 2019's DSP ...

Kenya Tucker

Kenya is a team player! She shows flexibility with her schedule each week as a DPAO SEMP Job Coach and is willing to work wherever and whenever she is needed. She is always a pleasure to be around and always has a smile on her face. She maintains positive relationships, is passionate about her work, and is always looking for ways to support the individuals she provides services to. Kenya continues to think outside of the box and is very creative. She is very good with any situation thrown her way!

Core Competency: Demonstrating Professionalism, Putting People First, and Maintaining Positive Relationships

 

DECEMBER 2018's DSP ...

Dillon Everard

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Dillon does a great job getting his individual he works with out into the community to work on goals. The parent of the individual Dillon works with stated “Dillon is very passionate about his job and is such a good role model and supportive. They have developed a great working relationship and Dillon is always helping work toward his goals; they have become a great team and good friends!”

Core Competencies: Putting People First and Getting into the Community

 

NOVEMBER 2018's DSP ...

Taylor St. Louis

 

"I had the opportunity to observe Taylor working back in March. OPWDD surveyors were there to observe meal time which can make any situation more stressful but Taylor did a great job. She was attentive, professional, and encouraged the individuals to try to do the most they could for themselves. She followed everyone’s dietary order and made the atmosphere feel comfortable and homelike."

~DPAO Employee

Core Competencies: Be a Professional, Supporting Health and Wellness, Supporting Safety, and Supporting a Person’s Potential

OCTOBER 2018's DSP ...

Courtney Gebo

Courtney Gebo Pic

 

Courtney works super hard in Day Habilitation! From playing games to feeding and toileting individuals, she is often the first one to volunteer to help someone out no matter what it is. A lot of the individuals look to Courtney when they are having a particularly hard time and she is always compassionate and understanding of their situations. There have been plenty of times Courtney has had to step up in a crisis and has proven her ability to maintain control in keeping everyone safe.

Core Competencies: Putting People First and Safety

SEPTEMBER 2018's DSP ...

Tonya Kerr

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Tonya has done a fantastic job demonstrating professionalism from the very start of her time at DPAO. She takes great care to ensure that her paperwork (documentation on goals) is completed correctly and provides detailed notes to track progress. Tonya has also done a great job of putting people first by helping her individual work on their goals in creative ways. Her enthusiasm and support for her individual is an asset to our agency. We cannot wait to see what great things Tonya's individual will accomplish with her assistance in the future!

Core Competency: Professionalism and Putting People First

 

AUGUST 2018's DSP ...  

Marie Farmer

Marie Farmer Pic

 

Marie does an excellent job working as a Direct Support Professional! She takes both of her individuals out into the community to volunteer and shop, among many other activities. Marie exhibits professionalism when dealing with challenging behaviors. One of the individuals Marie works with has a hard time expressing himself and she has taught him how to communicate verbally and through sign language! Marie uses sign language as a way of enhancing and supporting his verbal skills, which have increased since she began teaching him!

Core Competencies: Professionalism, Getting into the Community and Putting People First

 

JULY 2018's DSP ...  

Brenda Sanford

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Brenda is a wonderful example of the core competency of 'Putting people First'. She is incredibly dedicated to her individual and ensures that they engage in activities of their choosing. Brenda demonstrates patience, care, and creativity in the way she helps her individual reach their personal goals. It is clear how much Brenda cares about her individual and helping them discover new interests and strengthen their skills.

Core Competency: Putting People First

 

 JUNE 2018's DSP ...
Beth Cole


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"Beth is here for our individuals first and foremost. Working at DPAO is not just a job for her. As much as she cares for every individual, they reciprocate that back to her three times as much! Don’t try to pick on her because DPAO’s participants will come for you! It is an on-going joke with some of us, but it really shows that they love her dearly. “Don’t mess with my Beth” is heard often in the office. When Beth brings the individuals in to drop off the mail or get soda, she always tells them to keep their voices down in case we are on the phone. If we are having a meeting, she makes sure they enter quietly. Until one of us gets them excited, then she might as well throw in the towel! When they are with her, she ensures they use manners, behave appropriately, and gets them involved with whatever task they are sent over to do. Beth puts all 7 core competencies in action daily!"

~ DPAO Employee 

Core Competencies: Putting People First and Maintaining Positive Relationships

 

MAY 2018's DSP ...

Nicole Bachner

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“I would like to nominate Nicole Bachner. She works with an individual who I am friends with. I am over protective and worry about him and Nicole goes above and beyond to ensure he is comfortable and taken care of. She always makes sure that his needs are met. When he was hospitalized in Syracuse she visited him on her own time. On New Year’s Eve he really wanted to go out to celebrate but due to the impending inclement weather this was not advisable. Nicole went the day before New Year’s and brought party hats and pizza to celebrate with him. It is DSP’s like her who make our individuals happy and content. She is caring, responsible and dependable!”

~DPAO Employee 

Core Competency: Putting People First

 

APRIL 2018's DSP ...

Terri Fulmer

Terri Fulmer 

It goes without saying that Terri goes above and beyond for the individuals she works with. Recently at the Chili Cook-Off, Terri participated with a group of our individuals and did a great job with them. Many people were approaching Terri, saying hello and telling her how much they have missed her. Terri puts so much time and effort into her position and is greatly appreciated by many!

Core Competencies: Building & Maintaining Positive Relationships, Getting into the Community and Putting People First

 

MARCH 2018's DSP ...

JoAnn Kirk

 

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JoAnn attends different functions with her individual such as Religious Education Thanksgiving dinner which allows the individual to maintain positive relationships with friends and teachers. JoAnn also keeps a schedule with her individual which includes going to the gym and preparing healthy meals for the week to maintain good health. Both of the individuals that work with JoAnn are always eager to spend time with her. The bond that they have formed over the years is admirable!

Core Competencies: Building & Maintaining Positive Relationships and Supporting Good Health

 

 

FEBRUARY 2018's DSP ...

Yvonne Albertson

Yvonne Albertson

Yvonne demonstrates professionalism, supports safety, builds and maintains positive relationships and puts our individuals’ needs first! Recently Yvonne was involved in an accident where she and six individuals were passengers in an agency van. Yvonne remained calm and focused on the individuals’ needs, keeping them safe and reassuring them that everything was going to be ok! Yvonne stepped up when she needed to and not only supported our individuals but also the staff who was driving. This is just one of the many examples why Yvonne is named DSP of the month. Yvonne’s team leader is proud to have her as a staff member!

Core Competency: Safety

 

Disabled Person Action Organization’s Economic Impact Study

New Research Report Shows DPAO Concert Series An Engine For Economic Impact And Jobs

A recent survey report by the Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College on behalf of the Disabled Persons Action Organization (DPAO) concludes that the DPAO Summer Concert Series was responsible for a positive financial impact of over $10 Million Dollars in the region over the past five years!

The report specifically identified the following impacts the Concert Series had had on the greater Watertown region.

  • Over the past 5 years (2012-2016) an annual average of 9722 people attended a DPAO concert
  • The estimated economic impact for this five year period is $10,204,311
  • 16.2 jobs as an average are created annually by the DPAO Summer Concert Series-for every 1000 attendees 2.52 jobs are created in the community

In addition the report in part considers the results of customer intercept studies taken through-out the 2016 DPAO concert series.

  • Over 11% of the attendees traveled from outside the area and stayed overnight in the region
  • 95 % of those concert attendee’s surveyed viewed the DPAO Summer Concert Series as a valuable addition to the quality of life in the community
  • Data from the past five years indicates each attendee had a direct and indirect economic impact to the community of $212.76 per concert event

Another interesting fact is that almost 84% of concert attendee’s plan on going to future DPAO Concerts and will also recommend them to others.

This study is the most detailed statistical look at data at this particular group of people in our community and it offers value to other businesses besides DPAO as well as public officials and regional economic developers. The success of the Summer Concert Series over the past 40 years can be attributed to our concert goers and loyal sponsors.

The proceeds from the DPAO Summer Concert Series are used to fund the programs and services provided to over five hundred families that DPAO serves in multiple counties. It is very gratifying to know that these shows have had such a positive economic impact on our community and that the concert attendees realize these events enhance the quality of life in our area.

Since 1974, DPAO’s mission has been to provide quality and effective individualized services to developmentally disabled children and adults in Jefferson and Lewis Counties. The services are primarily geared to helping families cope with the stress of caring for their disabled loved ones.

For more information on DPAO’s programs and services please call (315) 782-3577. 

Disabled Persons Action Organization

 

Corporate Offices:  617 Davidson Street • PO Box 222 Watertown, New York 13601 • (315) 782-3577 • (800) 533-2859 ● (315) 782-6673 (Fax)

William J. McClusky Day Habilitation Center:  633 Davidson Street ● Watertown, New York 13601 ● (315) 782-5285
Free Standing Respite Home:  652 Thompson Street ● Watertown, New York 13601 ● (315) 782-2485
                                                

                           

Lewis County Office:  Village Square • Lyons Falls, New York 13368 • (315) 348-8380

Lewis County Free Standing Respite Home:  5205 Ebbly Road ● Lowville, New York 13367 ● (315) 376-8327