NADSP E-Badge Earner of the Month: Kelvin Wangari
Congratulations to Kelvin Wangari who has been selected as the October 2023 NADSP E-Badge Academy Earner of the Month. We are recognizing Kelvin for his excellent Cultural Connections’ E-Badge submission.This badge represents a Direct Support Professionals’ work in assisting the individual to find social, learning and recreational opportunities valued in his or her culture. This badge is part of the Cultural Competency CMS Core Competency. It also aligns with the NADSP Competency Area of Provide Person-Centered Supports.
Kelvin works as a Direct Support Professional at InVision Human Services in Wexford, Pennsylvania. InVision Human Services’ mission is to provide services and products designed to transform the lives of people who are experiencing significant life challenges. To learn more about InVision, click here.
Kelvin’s Experiences With The NADSP E-Badge Academy
The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) recently asked Kelvin about his experiences with the NADSP E-Badge Academy. The questions covered how he carries out his work as a direct support professional, the skillsets he demonstrates on a daily basis, the impact that the E-Badge Academy has had on his professional recognition, and how he gets credit for competency.
Describe the story you shared in carrying out that competency:
I shared the story of a young man of Asian descent. He has IDD and lives in a group home I supported him in. He would spend weekends in his family home since they resided close to the group home; that is until his father got a job transfer out of town and he made the decision to stay. This created a gap in the individual’s life since his usual weekend stays were no longer. He looked lost and confused when the weekend came. I engaged him in a respectful conversation, and he told me that he wanted to visit the local Hindu temple where he would get to worship, connect with fellow community members, have fun, and learn more about his Indian culture. In truly person-centered style I assisted him to connect with the Asian community at the temple just as he had wished. This enabled him to find social, learning, and recreational opportunities valued in his Indian culture and make a connection that was culturally important to him.
Why is this competency so important to DSPs?
The competency of Providing Person Centered Supports is very important to DSPs since it enables us to model our supports in a way that facilitates what is important to the person being supported. It encourages us to be knowledgeable about person centered planning techniques and assist the individuals in developing person centered plans.
How have you used this competency in your work?
I have used this competency in my work as a DSP to support people using a person centered approach by modifying support programs and interventions. This ensures that they are person centered and ensures that the people being supported are in control of their own lives.
How can other DSPs replicate your practices?
Other DSPs can replicate my practices by facilitating what is important to the people they support by continuously listening and learning in alliance with the person they are supporting.
How does the NADSP E-Badge Academy benefit your agency?
The NADSP E-Badge Academy benefits my agency by providing the opportunity for further learning by staff members thus ensuring that the agency is providing competent and skilled services by having qualified and competent staff members.
How does NADSP E-Badge Academy benefit the people you support?
The NADSP E-Badge Academy benefits the people I support by ensuring that I am equipped with the skills and qualifications required to guarantee that they get the support that they need. This ensures that they live healthy, happy, and fulfilling self-directed lives.
What does the future hold for your involvement in the NADSP E-Badge Academy?
I am very committed to the NADSP E-Badge Academy. I foresee a future where I will have completed the three certification levels and earned all the badges. This will make me a better DSP with a high level of training and skills.
How has NADSP E-Badge Academy affected your professional image?
My progress and achievements in the NADSP E-Badge Academy have positively affected my professional image as a DSP. I am now more confident doing my job and I feel a stronger professional identity as a DSP.
I now feel more skilled as the NADSP E-Badge Academy has taught me new skills and improved the skills that I had thus increasing my qualification and competency in my DSP role.
How has NADSP E-Badge Academy given you credit for competency?
The NADSP E-Badge Academy has been giving me credit for competency by awarding me certificates after successfully completing the online courses and passing the exams, awarding me badges after submitting testimonials as proof of competency and eventually awarding me with the certificates for DSP-I, DSPII and after completion, DSP-III.
“One of InVision’s core values is ‘We embrace inclusivity and treat all human beings with dignity and respect.’ Understanding our cultural differences helps us build strong and meaningful relationships, not just within our team members, but also the people we support. Reading Kelvin’s story about how he helped Ravi discover a place of worship, while also supporting a connection to his Indian culture was inspirational. It shows that by listening and putting people first we can help those we serve flourish. The NADSP program allows are DSPs to strengthen and reinforce person-centered approaches and learn valuable skills that make us better as an organization.” -Kim Love, CEO, InVision Human Services
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.