NADSP E-Badge Earner of the Month: Tracy Holsapple
Congratulations to Tracy Holsapple who has been selected as the NADSP E-Badge Academy Earner of the Month for July of 2021. Tracy is being recognized for her excellent ‘Community Safety’ E-Badge submission. This badge represents a Direct Support Professionals’ work in helping individuals to be safe and learn to be safe in the community. This badge is part of the Safety CMS Core Competency. It also aligns with the NADSP Competency Area of Community Living Skills and Supports.
Tracy works as a Tradewinds Employment Specialist for Coarc. Coarc’s vision is, “To be an ethical organization that is part of a society that recognizes people with different degrees of abilities as full contributing members of their community.” Learn more about Coarc by clicking here.
Tracy’s Experiences With The NADSP E-Badge Academy
The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) recently asked Tracy about her experiences with the NADSP E-Badge Academy. The questions covered how she carries out her work as a direct support professional, the skill sets she demonstrates on a daily basis, the impact that the E-Badge Academy has had on her professional recognition, and how she gets credit for competency.
1. Describe the story you shared in carrying out that competency
My story was about a gentleman who was going on an outing to a ballgame in NYC. He had home and community alone time, but was concerned about getting separated from the group in the city. He and I spent time before the outing going over and over various things we could do if that were to happen; keep staff numbers with him, wait on the next corner, find an officer or stadium employee. He felt comfortable with his options and was ready for the outing. While making our way to the stadium in the city, he walked very quickly thru a crowd of people and we were separated. I stopped and looked around, but could not see him. I checked my phone, no call. I remembered we had spoken about going to the next corner and waiting. I quickly walked to the next corner and there he was. He immediately called out that he had not panicked and waited at the next corner as we had talked about.
2. Why is this competency so important to DSPs?
This competency, self-determination – honoring a person’s right to assume risk in an informed manner, is important in order to assist persons I support to direct the course of their own lives and help them grow.
3. How have you used this competency in your work?
I have used this competency often while working with people in our fair-trade store, whether it be walking to the bank for change or walking to the post office to mail store items. Taking small steps and repeating them until the person is comfortable helps them feel empowered and proud of their accomplishments.
4. How can other DSPs replicate your practices?
I believe DSP’s work on this competency daily. By spending a little more time and listening to people we support and assisting them with making life choices and working to help them achieve it.
5. How does the NADSP E-Badge Academy benefit your Agency?
The NADSP E-Badge Academy benefits our agency by DSPs coming together with our frontline supervisors to not only achieve great awards, but the learning experience is amazing and benefits not only our DSPs, but the people we support.
6. How does NADSP E-Badge Academy benefit the People I Support?
The NADSP E-Badge Academy benefits people we support by bringing increased knowledge and understanding to our DSPs, which in turn is reflected in our work with the people we support.
7. What does the future hold for your involvement in NADSP E-Badge Academy?
I definitely plan on continuing my E-Badge education. This learning opportunity enables me to be more aware and confident in my position at our store, as well as better equipped to support the people I work with.
8. How has the NADSP E-Badge Academy affected your professional image? Do you feel stronger professional identity with your occupation?
I came into my current position at our store after many years of working as an Admin Assistant. I had many reservations, so this opportunity has helped me learn and grow. I do feel much stronger in my current role.
9. Do you feel more skilled?
Absolutely, this opportunity is just what I needed.
10. How does NADSP E-Badge Academy give you credit for competency?
It’s such a wonderful feeling with each badge earned. There’s a lot of thought and feeling that needs to be put in to every badge, along with constant review of the NADSP Code of Ethics. All of which makes me a better DSP. Thank you!
Well Wishes from Coarc
“At Coarc, we are honored to be able to offer an opportunity for all Front Line Supervisors and Direct Support Professionals to further their education on topics geared directly to the work they do. The E-Badge Academy has given us a means to provide a career path and an opportunity to professionalize the Direct Support Professional position.
We are so proud of Tracy’s accomplishments and can’t wait to see what the future holds, as she moves through the Coarc Career Advancement Program.”
Chief Operating Officer
The NADSP E-Badge Academy
The NADSP E-Badge Academy offers Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and Frontline Supervisors (FLSs) the ability to earn national certification through stackable electronic badges. These badges demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and values that these professionals utilize every day, recognizing the professional development that might otherwise go unacknowledged. Through the NADSP E-Badge Academy, DSPs and FLSs are acknowledged for the experience and education that they bring to the human services field.
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The vision of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) is a world with a highly qualified and professional direct support workforce that partners with, supports, and empowers people with disabilities to lead a life of their choosing. NADSP works to elevate the status of direct support professionals by improving practice standards, promoting system reform, and advancing their knowledge, skills and values, through certification, credentialing, training, professional development, and accreditation services.