Congratulations to Giselda Bracco, who has been selected as the NADSP E-Badge Academy Earner of the Month for February of 2021. Giselda is being recognized for her excellent ‘Supporting Well-Being’ E-Badge submission. This badge represents a DSP’s skill in supporting the individual in supporting the spiritual, emotional, and social well-being of the individual. This badge is part of the Health and Wellness CMS Core Competency.  It also aligns with the NADSP Competency of Community Living Skills and Supports.

Giselda (Gigi) works as a Direct Support Professional for Families First in Vermont. The mission of Families First is to provide family-friendly service for children, youth, and adults living with disabilities. Their services promote independent living, enhance self-esteem, and cultivate community membership through caring and respectful relationships. To learn more about Families First, click here.

Giselda’s Experiences With The NADSP E-Badge Academy

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

My story described my work with a person I support who had had a steady weekly routine for many years, but when the pandemic came, he lost all of the activities he was used to doing. I had to help him adapt to this change and establish a new routine focusing on those things he could still do to help him maintain his sense of well-being.   

2. Why is this competency so important to DSPs?

For a DSP, promoting the emotional, physical, and personal well-being of the people we support is central to our work. It’s so basic to understand how I can help them feel comfortable in their lives.

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

This work focuses on person-centered support so it is essential for me to understand exactly what they need, what is important in their lives, and how I can help promote their well-being in the best possible way. 

4. How can other DSPs replicate your practices?

To find out how to help support the well-being of the person I work with, I have to get to know them. Each one has different needs, interests, and daily activities, so speaking with the team and the families is the first thing to help me learn about them quickly. Second, I observe the person to understand what they like, and don’t like, and notice situations where they could get hurt. Next, I look for ideas and activities to keep them stimulated. I carry a bag of tricks in my car, with creative activities we can do together, music, and books. I find these can help keep the person focused and allow us to build a comfortable relationship and build trust between us. Another thing, I always keep calm when I am with them, I speak gently and respectfully, and show them I am listening. Lastly, I maintain a routine for them to help them feel safe and know what to expect so they don’t get anxious. 

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

The E-Badge Academy helps us improve our professional skills so we know what to do, how to think, and how best to work with the people we support, and the agency knows they can trust the E-Badge recipients to give the best possible care to them. 

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

The E-Badge Academy gave me the chance to think back over my experience with the people I support and understand what worked and why. It encourages me to think more deeply about how to best provide for their needs.  

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

The E-Badge Academy is working for me. I love it. It helps reinforce my confidence in what I do, and it gives me new ideas and more tools to be a better professional.  I plan to continue exploring other E-Badge areas too. 

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

I feel more professional in my role as a DSP than before I started the E-Badge Academy. It has given me the chance to become more confident about my work as I reflect on my experience with the people I support. 

9. Do you feel more skilled?

Yes, I do! Absolutely!

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

The E-Badge Academy allows me to reflect on my work and examine what I learned. It lets me share this experience and show my competencies. I can grow professionally this way and feel more confident about the work I am doing. 

Well Wishes from Families First

“Giselda has been an asset to Families First, the self-advocates she supports, and the work we do to provide person-centered services.  Her dedication to learn and grow into a Direct Support Professional that embodies person center services has been present since the beginning of her work with us.   Gigi brings love, compassion, and knowledge to her work.  Families First Leadership is so proud and happy that Gigi can be recognized for the incredible work she does. “

– Anna Griffith, Employment Coordinator, CESP, Families First

“WOW!!! My heart is full. It is so clear that Gigi “gets” the essence of our work. How lucky are we all to have her as a part of our talented community of providers. When you get a chance, or if you need to remember why we are called to this work, give Gigi’s paper a read. Go Gigi!!!!!”

Katie McCarthy, QDDP, Intake & Service Coordinator, Families First

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.



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.