NADSP E-Badge Earner of the Month: Abby Wright

by | Dec 14, 2023 | News

Congratulations to Abby Wright who has been selected as the December 2023 NADSP E-Badge Academy Earner of the Month. We are recognizing Abby for her excellent ‘Individual Activities’ E-Badge submission. This badge represents a Direct Support Professionals’ skill in helping to design services around the choices and goals of the individual supported. It involves working with a person to find community activities that are meaningful to them as individuals. This badge is connected to the Person-Centered Practices CMS Core Competency. It also aligns with the NADSP Competency of Building and Maintaining Friendships and Relationships.

Abby works as a Direct Support Professional at Perspectives Corporation in North Kingston, Rhode Island. The mission of Perpectives Corporation is to help people with disabilities to participate in and contribute to community life. For more information on Perspectives Corporation, click here.

Abby’s Experiences With The NADSP E-Badge Academy

The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) recently asked Abby about her experiences with the NADSP E-Badge Academy. The questions covered how she carries out her work as a direct support professional, the skillsets 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.

Describe the story you shared in carrying out that competency:

The story I chose to share involved an individual that I helped support to achieve his goal of losing weight. The biggest challenge was that the individual already led a healthy lifestyle and the onset of his weight gain was more likely due to a new medication change. Being mindful of his healthy lifestyle, we brainstormed some ideas on how I could help support him through this goal. We discussed healthy versus unhealthy ways to lose weight and the individual ultimately decided on spending more time at a local gym where he could independently focus on his goals. This individual activity helped him achieve his goal partially, as it seems he is now more interested in the muscle that he has gained as opposed to the weight that he has lost.

Why is this competency so important to DSPs?

Promoting independence is a large part of my role as a Direct Support Professional. Working with an individual and exploring their preferred activities is crucial in helping them achieve a more enriched life. Practicing individualistic activities helps promote autonomy, feelings of accomplishment, and confidence in the people we support.

How have you used this competency in your work?

Many of the individuals I support come from a residential setting where they can have many roommates. Being able to identify that not everyone may have the same interests and hobbies, I am able to take a more person-centered approach when helping plan outings and activities for the day.

How can other DSPs replicate your practices?

Direct Support Professionals can replicate my practices by always ensuring that they are being person centered, this includes asking questions as well as being non-judgmental and open. Making the effort to understand the interests and goals of the individuals you support should be the core of your role as a DSP.

How does the NADSP E-Badge Academy benefit your agency?

The NADSP E-Badge Academy has provided me with many resources that I can reference, such as the Code of Ethics, to ensure that the care I’m providing aligns with these guidelines. Anyone who receives a certification through the E-Badge Academy has a strong sense of knowledge, skills, and values of a Direct Support Professional.

How does NADSP E-Badge Academy benefit the people you support?

The people that I support benefit from the NADSP E-Badge Academy because those who complete the program have a more in depth understanding of things like the Code of Ethics and person-centered care. Having these resources ensure that the care I provide for these individuals is truly what is best for them.

What does the future hold for your involvement in the NADSP E-Badge Academy?

Currently, I’ve completed the DSP-I certification and have the ability to partake in DSP-II as well as DSP-III. I plan on following through with these courses so I can be more skilled and confident in my abilities as a DSP to benefit not only my agency, but myself as well.

How has NADSP E-Badge Academy affected your professional image?

Prior to working as a DSP, I came from a healthcare background, the NADSP E-Badge Academy has allowed for me to take my skills and adapt them to be more proficient in supporting the individuals that I work with. After completing my DSP-I certification, I felt much more confident in my skills and my abilities. Even if I am unsure of something, I can always reference the NADSP Code of Ethics to ensure the type of care I’m providing is up to that code.

Being able to have self-reflection in my testimonials has made me realize that I have a lot more skills than I had initially thought. I’ve only been in my position for a little over a year and hadn’t taken a step back to evaluate the impact in my work. After partaking in this certification course, I feel much more confident in my abilities and strive to be better every day.

How has NADSP E-Badge Academy given you credit for competency?

The NADSP E-Badge Academy gives credit for competency by taking your own individual experiences and showing how they align with the Code of Ethics. By doing this through many different topics, it shows that you have a vast knowledge and understanding on how to be the best Direct Support Professional that you can be.

Well Wishes from Abby’s Agency

“The DSP certification program has offered a career ladder for DSPs with the opportunity for growth and development in their role here at Perspectives Corporation. This is a long term goal for Perspectives Corporation to utilize the NADSP certification to create career paths for our DSPs. DSPs are continuing to build their skillsets and have a better understanding of each person supported in order to provide quality services. It has also increased visibility for the DSPs in their workforce, which is especially important since DSPs are the largest percentage of the workforce within the organization.”

-Amy Page, HR Director Perspectives Corporation

 “Perspectives’ DSPs proudly participate in the NADSP certification program and are thrilled to be a part of the national certification process that recognizes direct support as a professional career. Abby’s story illustrates the power of being fully present and person-centered in supporting individuals with being self-directed. Through the certification process, DSPs are given the opportunity to reflect on the many ways direct support impacts a person’s quality of life and are provided the language to share the knowledge and skills learned with other DSPs.”

-PJ Harder, Director of Training & Development Perspectives Corporation

“We are so proud of Abby and our other DSPs going through this certification process. The program enhances the knowledge, skills, and values of DSPs and helps them provide the best quality work they can. This credentialing is truly elevating the level of quality care we provide at Perspectives and we are so excited to continue with NADSP. Abby’s testimonial on Individual Activity is an excellent showcase of the hard work she and other DSPs do daily, and we’re so thrilled she is being recognized for all of her efforts.”

– Ashlyn Farrell, Local Admin (E-Badge Academy) Perspectives Corporation

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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