NADSP E-Badge Earner of the Month: Michael Olix

by | Apr 17, 2024 | News

Congratulations to Michael Olix, DSP-3,​ who has been selected as the April 2024 NADSP E-Badge Academy Earner of the Month. We are recognizing Michael for his excellent “Self Advocate Ally,” E-Badge submission. This badge represents a direct support professional’s allyship in supporting the individual to advocate for themselves by encouraging the individual to speak for themself. This badge is part of the Empowerment and Advocacy CMS Core Competency. It also aligns with the NADSP Competency of Participant Empowerment

Michael works as a Self-Directed Staff DSP and Life Coach at The Arc Allegany-Steuben in Bath, New York. The Arc Allegany-Steuben’s mission is to support and respect people’s choices on their journey to independence.. To learn more, click here.

Michael’s Experiences With The NADSP E-Badge Academy

The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) recently asked Michael 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 had worked with a young man that wanted more than anything to get a job and live on his own in the community.  His mom was understandably very protective, but this eventually led to being a bigger obstacle than simply looking out for your son.  He wasn’t sure how to tell his mom what his aspirations were without upsetting her.  So, we role-played the potential event until he was comfortable and confident that he could say exactly what he said to me, but to his mom.  He ended up talking to his mom. She was upset, but not for bad reasons.  She was very proud of him for coming to her in the manner he did.  The preparation he and I did together set him up to advocate for himself. After working on this together, the young man was able to get a job and his own apartment. 

Why is this competency so important to DSPs?

It’s important to us because we are trying to do our best for the people we serve. When it comes time to be an advocate or to motivate the person to advocate for themselves, we need to consider all aspects involved to help insure the best possible outcome.

How have you used this competency in your work?

Multiple times throughout my career.  This is something that DSPs need to be doing every single day they show up to work.  You are always an advocate and along with that you need to do your best to motivate the people we work with to have the knowledge and strength to advocate for themselves.

How can other DSPs replicate your practices?

I think it can be emulated because every situation is unique to that particular person.  If the DSP is person-centered, they can achieve with and for the people they serve.  Knowing the situation and understanding what you need to do to help is key for advocacy.

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

The NADSP E-Badge Academy benefits my agency by giving DSPs the opportunity to learn and share their personal experiences and be recognized for doing so.  There is a plethora of information that you will read, learn and write about in your testimonials. The knowledge of a DSP is powerful, as we are advocates, friends, and even family to the people we serve.  What you can learn and share is the greatest contribution you can make.  Not to mention, it’s pretty exciting to be nationally recognized for your hard work and dedication to your field.  It really feels good to see who actually reads your testimonials and to read and hear the responses you get from your agency and the NADSP!

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

The NADSP E-Badge Academy benefits the people we support by giving the employee a sense of accomplishment.  This in turn reflects positively on our everyday work habits, just by knowing we are appreciated, and that the agency is behind you 100%.  The new and renewed knowledge you gain from the academy is your gift to the people we work with directly, staff included.

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

After getting my DSP-III Certification through the NADSP E-Badge Academy, I have been accepted into the Frontline Supervisor certification course, where I plan to continue furthering my education in the field and to be prepared to be a leader for my fellow DSPs.  I hope to be an advocate for this program for many years to come!

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

I believe it has affected my professional image because there are influential members of my agency that are dedicated to the success of their employees.  Getting thanks and congratulations from my agency and the NADSP has boosted my confidence as a DSP and my drive to becoming a future leader in the agency.  I am almost 46 and in my 10th year of service in this field. I am dedicated to all the amazing people we serve to help better their futures in this country.

I do feel more skilled in the fact that this experience has strengthened

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

As you learn and grow in the Academy, you gain badges and certifications on a national level.  This gives you a sense of accomplishment each time you get a “Congratulations You Have Earned a Badge!”, in your email.  It’s a mental boost and accreditation for your hard work and service.

Well Wishes from Michael’s Agency

“Michael, congratulations on being selected as the April 2024 NADSP E-Badge Academy Earner of the Month! Your achievement in earning the Self-Advocate Ally E-Badge is truly impressive and well-deserved.

Your dedication to supporting individuals in advocating for themselves reflects the core values of our organization and aligns perfectly with our mission at The Arc Allegany-Steuben. Your commitment to empowerment and advocacy is an inspiration to us all.

Thank you for your outstanding contributions to our team and for making a positive difference in the lives of those we support. Keep up the fantastic work!”

– Corinna McKnight, Deputy Executive Director for Administrative Services, The Arc Allegany Steuben

“I am beyond proud of Michael and all he does,” states Becky Wheaton, The Arc Allegany-Steuben’s Fiscal Intermediary & Guardianship Coordinator. “We are lucky to have someone like him working for our agency. The passion for his job and the dedication he shows in working with the person he supports is one of true excellence, and it shows with how he is flourishing since Michael has been working with him.”

-Becky Wheaton, Michael’s Supervisor, The Arc Allegany Steuben

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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