NADSP E-Badge Earner of the Month: Ashley Coppersmith

by | Mar 9, 2021 | News

Congratulations to Ashley Coppersmith, who has been selected as the NADSP E-Badge Academy Earner of the Month for March of 2021. Ashley is being recognized for her excellent ‘Person-Centered Thinking’ E-Badge submission. This badge represents a Direct Support Professionals’ work in partnership with the individual to track progress toward goals and adjust services as needed and desired by individual.This badge is part of the Person-Centered Practices CMS Core Competency. It also aligns with the NADSP Competency of Provide Person-Centered Supports.

Ashley works as a Direct Support Professional for Penn-Mar Human Services. The mission of Penn-Mar Human Services is to transform life into living for individuals, families, our staff and volunteers. Our vision is to be a national leader impacting policy makers and organizations committed to supporting the transformation of life into living. To learn more about Penn-Mar Human Services, click here.

Ashley’s Experiences With The NADSP E-Badge Academy

The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) recently asked Ashley 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

In my story, I wrote about how the person I support needs to have a choice in how his day is going to go. In the past, he felt like he didn’t have a choice at all and he was just told what he was going to do and when he was going to do it. I was told this by his parents and that him having a say will go a long way with him. I started out by asking him what he would want to do. Giving him different options gave him the ability to have a choice. We looked at his goals and one goal was to have a set schedule for the week so he wasn’t doing the same things over and over again. We sat down together to figure out how he wanted his schedule to look. I also told him if there was ever something we planned to do but he no longer wanted to then we could always find something different. He finally had his voice he was looking for and finally felt like he had control over his own day.

2. Why is this competency so important to DSPs?

Person-centered thinking is an extremely important skill to have as a DSP. It’s not about you or what you would like to do. It’s not about picking easy things to do so you can have an easy day at work. Its thinking about the person you support, what they need, what they want to achieve, what they love to  do. Once you understand what the individual wants or needs, then you can figure out a game plan to help them achieve their goals in the safest way possible.

3. How have you used this competency in your work?

I use person-centered thinking every single day. You always have to think about the person you are supporting and what is best for them.

4. How can other DSPs replicate your practices?

Read your individuals goals and IP plans, talk to their family members to get a better insight as to what they may be interested in or what others have tried in the past that didn’t work. Communication is your best friend when you want to learn new things about someone.

5. How does the NADSP E-Badge Academy benefit your Agency?

It benefits my agency a lot! The NADSP not only recognizes people from the agency but it also recognizes the agency for all the hard work their employees put in to the E-badge Academy.

6. How does NADSP E-Badge Academy benefits the People I Support?

The E-badge Academy benefits the people I support by making me a better DSP. It’s giving me a wider skill set so I can provide the best support to them that I possibly can.

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

It holds more opportunities for me to enhance my skill sets. I am constantly learning and I always want to improve the skills I have already obtained.

8. How has NADSP E-Badge Academy affected your professional image? Do you feel stronger professional identity with your occupation?

Most definitely! I feel more confident every day in my ability to provide my individuals with the best service possible.  I have noticed a difference in the way I approach different situations.

9. Do you feel more skilled?

Of course! Not only am I improving the skills I already had, I am also learning new ones and thinking of things in a different way than I was before.

10. How does NADSP E-Badge Academy give you credit for competency?

The competency is reviewed and if there are any mistakes, it gets sent back and you can make corrections before you resubmit. Every time a badge is earned it gives me such a great sense of pride and I am so blessed to be able to have this opportunity to improve my skills as a DSP!

Well Wishes from Penn-Mar

“Ashley shows a high level of respect and empathy for the person she supports by listening and respecting his voice. This is a great example for all of us to follow and we are so proud to have Ashley as an integral part of the Penn-Mar team.”

Greg Miller, President and CEO, Penn-Mar Human Services

“Through Ashley’s work, it’s clear she embodies what it means to be person-centered with keeping her first allegiance to the person she supports. We are grateful for Ashley and her dedication to upholding the Code of Ethics in her work providing quality supports day in and day out.”

-Kelly Fry- Career Ladders Program Coordinator, Penn-Mar 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.

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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.