2020 Direct Support Professional Advisory Council
The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals Board and Staff are pleased to announce the inaugural NADSP Direct Support Professional Advisory Council. The purpose of the NADSP Direct Support Professional Advisory Council is to provide their unique and invaluable perspective to the NADSP Board and staff about how to make practice improvements, with the goal of better serving Direct Support Professional around the country and internationally. In the passages below, each Council member has written a short bio of themselves.
Bethesda Lutheran Communities, Illinois
AHRC-NYC, New York
Vita Community Living Services, Ontario, Canada
New Horizons Resources Inc., New York
Chilliwack Society for Community Living, British Columbia, Canada
I live in Chilliwack BC with my husband and two adult children, one of whom has a developmental disability. I have been a direct support worker for 5 years and am employed with the Chilliwack Society for Community Living as a senior support worker. I have been active in volunteering with different organizations directly supporting individuals and their families, including serving a term on the board of directors. I am passionate about being a part of a community that is inclusive to all persons. When not working, I can often be found somewhat over my head in a home improvement project, but would really prefer to be in the garden!
Penn Mar Human Services, Pennsylvania
Chevon is super proud of the work she is doing in the lives of individuals I support at Penn Mar. Since joining the team July 2016 her outlook and purpose has been to enrich, motivate and encourage those around me. Chevon’s goal is to help achieve a better quality of life and help support others to voice and reach their potential goals. In March, Chevon achieved her DSP III certification in through the NADSP E-Badge Academy. Chevon says, “Servicing on the advisory council will give me an opportunity to share with others and provide a better understanding of how to address their concerns.“
South Peninsula Behavioral Health, Alaska
Arkansas Support Network, Arkansas
Mainstay Life Services, Pennsylvania
Amber k. Thompson
Hope House Foundation, Virginia
Oak Hill/ CT Institute for the Blind, Connecticut
My name is Shanna York. I am a DSP for Oak Hill, the state of Connecticut’s largest private provider of services for people with disabilities. I became a direct support professional after I read an advertisement in the classifieds 19 years ago for The Connecticut Institute for the Blind, the former name of my agency. I found the idea of working with individuals who had disabilities intriguing, and also thought that it could be rewarding as well. I wanted to help people and I wanted to have a direct impact to affect change in their lives for the better. I had no way of knowing just then how rewarding the work would be, or that it would also profoundly change my own life for the better. Fun Fact: The person who I respect and look up to the most in the world is my former Vice President of Community Programs who retired just this past July. She is the person responsible for fueling my passion, pushing me to be better, and for recognizing my success and commitment as a DSP. She also began her 36 year long career as a direct care staff.