NADSP E-Badge Earner of the Month: Anthony Munang
Congratulations to Anthony Munang who has been selected as the first NADSP E-Badge Academy Earner of the Month of 2022.We are recognizing Anthony this January for his excellent ‘Respectful Communication E-Badge submission. This badge represents a Direct Support Professionals’ work in communicating with an individual and his or her family in a respectful and culturally appropriate way. This badge is part of the Communication CMS Core Competency. It also aligns with the NADSP Competency Area of Communication.
Anthony works for 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.
Anthony’s Experiences With The NADSP E-Badge Academy
The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) recently asked Anthony 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:
My testimony was centered around how I think is imperative for us to be mindful of how we communicate with people in the LGBTQ+ community. Coming from a different background, I found it refreshing to learn how other people wanted to be referred to and I respected their choices and communicated with them however way they chose. Also, when the person I supported struggled with the same issue, I made it a point to get him the help he needed to enable him to communicate better respectfully.
Why is this competency so important to DSPs?
Being able to set aside personal views and provide the required level of professionalism is paramount in this field. Our main duty is with the people with serve and sometimes to better serve them, we must be role models. In this instance, my interaction and respectful communication with people in the LBGTQ+ community has rubbed off on the person I support. Through the years, I have seen how he has gotten better at communicating with people in the LBGTQ+ community.
How have you used this competency in your work?
There are many people who I support or who I have supported in the past who are part of the LGBTQ+ community and I have had to learn how to respectfully communicate with them. Respectful communication cuts across the board and I carry that way of thinking with everyone I deal with. From peers to management to even my children, respectful communication is important.
How can other DSPs replicate your practices?
Keeping an open mind in the first place is the first step. In this current climate, I cannot help but think that as a society, we are struggling to coexist with one another’s thoughts, views, lifestyles, or anything that does not conform to the way we think. Coming from a hugely different background to the one I find myself in, it was challenging to understand why some peoples’ sexual identity and orientation was different from mine or the culture I grew up in. However, my parents always instilled the values of loving and striving to accept everyone and trying to understand them than pass judgement. That mantra has helped me through being able to deal with coworkers’ family and friends. It has truly guided me in being a more effective DSP.
How does the NADSP E-Badge Academy benefit your agency?
As a company, I see how every day the agency I work for strives to help employees and the people we support become better. Educating ourselves is a never-ending process and being able to put into action the things we learn benefits both the agency, staff, and the people we support.
How does NADSP E-Badge Academy benefit the people you support?
It is our duty and responsibility to constantly educate ourselves and by doing so, we can provide better support every day. These badges are opportunities for staff to learn and sharpen their skills to be able to better provide care daily. There is an abundance of knowledge in these trainings. Being better DSPs through these initiatives positively makes us better at carrying out our tasks. They also enable us to learn how to empathize with the people we serve and that subsequently makes performing our duties a little easier.
What does the future hold for your involvement in the NADSP E-Badge Academy?
Truthfully, I cannot tell at this moment. However, I can confidently say that I am excited and looking forward to continuously being involved in this program to better not only myself, but also the people I support and coworkers. Speaking from a personal level, my involvement in the NADSP E-Badge Academy has taught me to empathize, be more patient, analytically process events among other things and that has made me a better person.
How has NADSP E-Badge Academy affected your professional image?
Absolutely. It was more enlightening and positive than I could imagine. I got into the program because I was inspired by my peers who had nothing but remarkable things to say about it. Now, I feel like I am the one inspiring other peer to delve into this mind opening initiative. I have had the chance to implement the knowledge I have acquired, and I share it with anyone who is willing to learn.
When the agency I work for encouraged staff to get involved, I was a little hesitant. Nonetheless, thanks to the constant pressure and foresight of my mentor and supervisor, I am glad that I took the plunge because I have gained a tremendous amount of not only knowledge, but insight into becoming a better professional, person, peer, and father.
How has NADSP E-Badge Academy affected your skills?
Without any doubt. A good part of the professional I have been able to become over the last few months has been a great part thanks to what I have been able to gain from the training and testimonials. In that time, I have been able to implement a great deal of the knowledge I assimilated. And I know months down the road, I will be a better DSP and professional thanks to the training and testimonials to come.
How does NADSP E-Badge Academy give you credit for competency?
Continuous learning. Granted the certificates and badges we get are very gratifying and the financial compensation that comes with it is great. However, the ability to constantly gain the knowledge and skills to help serve the people we support is the ultimate credit for competency I can think of.
Words from InVision Human Services
“Diversity and inclusion are at the core of who we are as an organization. Honoring differences, showing respect, and accepting what makes each of us unique are keys to building trust and developing strong relationships. Communication comes in many forms, and that is especially true for the intellectual disability and autism community. Anthony’s commitment to not only working on how he communicates, but also helping the people he supports communicate better sets a standard for others to follow. He described perfectly what the benefits of the NADSP E-Badge Academy are for our employees; not just providing knowledge and skills, but also helping them become better people and being an inspiration to others. I applaud his success and congratulate him on being recognized as the E-Badge earner for the month.”
-Kim Love, 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.
Congratulations and Thank you Anthony for committing to your work as a DSP who values learning and understanding. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community I am grateful that you have taken the time and step to understand in my community. Best wishes to you on your life’s journey.