Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month!
This is a time for all of us to help
raise awareness of, recognize, and celebrate the people that
the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities was
created to provide supports and services to in communities
across New York State.
This year’s theme, “See Me For Me!”
encourages people to focus on each individual and get to
know people for who they really are and to look beyond the
diagnosis. We all benefit when people of all abilities
are included in community life.
While we pause this month to recognize
the contributions of individuals with developmental
disabilities in New York for their own personal talents and
abilities, we should also recognize and celebrate
parents, family members, self-advocates, providers, staff
members, direct support professionals and volunteers.
Their commitment and compassion help support and help to
positively change community perceptions of individuals with
developmental disabilities. It is awareness, acceptance, and
understanding that provide individuals with the opportunity
to make their own unique contributions to the community at
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's DSP ...
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!
Building & Maintaining Positive Relationships and Supporting
FEBRUARY's DSP ...
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!
JANUARY's DSP ...
(Carole Sutherland is NOT a pit bull but she loves them!)
first started back in July I only had a little bit of
experience working with disabled people. My manager put me
on the 4:30 to midnight shift where I've had the pleasure of
working with Carole Sutherland. Although she is only a part
time employee at Free Standing Respite, I would like to
nominate her to be the DSP of the month for January. She
meets all of the core competencies and much more. She always
puts everyone's needs before her own, consumers and staff.
She had taught me so much in the past couple of months, I
couldn't ask for a better mentor. She is very kind and
passionate about her work. She seems to know how to handle
any situation that is thrown her way. She is constantly
building, maintaining AND improving positive relationships
with consumers and their caregivers as well. She is a role
model not only for consumers but for staff and caregivers as
well, demonstrating and supporting ALL 7 of the competency
goals. I've learned so much from Carole and I really hope
you would consider her for January's DSP of the month. She
deserves it for all of the hard work she does for the
consumers, caregivers, staff and the agency as a whole.
Putting People First
DECEMBER's DSP ...
December is Jennifer's one
year anniversary at DPAO and in that year she has
exemplified many of the Core Competencies that have made her
stand out! She is a pleasure to be around, always has
a smile on her face, and is willing to help others when
needed. Jennifer is a positive person and she
encourages others to be as well! She has compassion
towards our participants and keeps their interests and
feelings in mind. She treats people with respect and
is full of life. Hard not to have a smile on your face
when you are around her!
Building & Maintaining Positive Relationships
NOVEMBER's DSP ...
Krista goes above and beyond assuring that her individual’s
personal hygiene and community inclusions needs are being
met. A visit was
made by a staff member while Krista was working with her
individual was freshly bathed and their appearance was
impeccable! This is
clearly a DSP who takes pride in her work and cares for her
individual just as if they were part of her own family!
Supporting Good Health
OCTOBER's DSP ...
(Donna White is NOT an elephant but she loves them!)
"I do not think those who know Donna White would argue that
she deserves to be the DSP of the Month!
I would nominate her every month if I could!
She is the sweetest and most caring person to
everyone but most especially to our individuals.
Over the Summer I came to the office on a Saturday
and as I was leaving, I looked over to the respite house and
saw Donna pushing someone in a wheelchair in the parking
wheeled them over to some bushes and was helping them pick
wild flowers (I assume).
Knowing that the individual is very disabled and
could never do that on their own, I thought how often do you
see that happen?
She warms my heart whenever I see her or hear her
individuals ask if she is going to be working at the respite
house when they go there.
How wonderful it would be if we could convince her to
work at DPAO full time!!!
But the Meals on Wheels gang would be lost without
her. She does
more with her petite frame than any muscle man could!
Donna’s demeanor reminds me to chill out and enjoy
life – no point in complaining.
She certainly doesn’t!
I would stick her in my purse and let her out
whenever I need a pick me up!"
~ DPAO Employee
Putting People First
"Don’t know if I deserve the
honor, as getting to know my girls and to share time with
them, has enriched my life immensely! I think I have
gotten the best out of the deal already."
Kelley supports the individuals’
interests and encourages them every step of the way!
One individual won a photography contest two years in a row,
in which Kelley helped her enter! Kelley continues to
think outside the box when working with the individuals she
supports. It remains very apparent that thought is put
in to the activities while (and most importantly) keeping
their interests in mind!
and Productive in Society