NADSP E-Badge Earner of the Month: John Swisher

by | Mar 17, 2022 | News

Congratulations to John F. Swisher who has been selected as the March 2022 NADSP E-Badge Academy Earner of the Month.We are recognizing John this March for his excellent ‘Supporting Wellbeing’ 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 Area of Community Living Skills and Supports.

John 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.

John’s Experiences With The NADSP E-Badge Academy

The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) recently asked John about his experiences with the NADSP E-Badge Academy. The questions covered how he carries out her work as a direct support professional, the skillsets he demonstrates on a daily basis, the impact that the E-Badge Academy has had on her professional recognition, and how he gets credit for competency.

In Mr. Swisher’s Supporting Wellbeing testimonial he describes supporting “Willie” in his desire to find a church similar to the one he remembered attending as a child. Through discussions with Willie as well as many visits to many different types of religious services, they were ultimately successful in finding a church that Willie felt comfortable attending. 

Describe the story you shared in carrying out that competency:

I assisted an individual in finding a church to join – one that felt to him like his “home” church from his boyhood.

Why is this competency so important to DSPs?

It’s crucial to recognize that, as a DSP, we support not only the physical and mental health of our clients, but we’re there to support their social and spiritual health, as well.

How can other DSPs replicate your practices?

The short answer is to do what I laid out in my testimonial.  What’s important is to pay attention to the client – employ expanded listening – discover and lay out the options, and persevere, persevere, persevere.

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

It helps me, and all those like me who are enrolled in the E-Badge Academy, to stay in touch with the person-centered ideals at the heart of my agency’s operating philosophy.

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

It’s easy to become cynical in this line of work, and get caught in caregiver burnout. The E-Badge Academy works to prevent – or, at least, mitigate – that tendency.  The people I support cannot help but benefit from this.

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

I will continue with it until I advance through all the levels.  After that, we’ll have to see what the future holds!

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

I do feel a stronger sense of professional identity as a result of the E-Badge Academy course work.

How has NADSP E-Badge Academy affected your skills?

At this point, my skill level, as measured by any “objective” metric is probably about the same as it was before I enrolled in the E-Badge Academy. What has changed are my ability to articulate what I do and my confidence in doing so.

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

Well, alongside the E-Badges, themselves, I have been bestowed the honor of being named E-Badge Earner of the Month!  The agency I work for pays me a little more for each level I complete.  It’s a win-win situation.

Words from InVision Human Services

“I am extremely proud that we now have a fourth InVision Human Services’ DSP being recognized as the NADSP E-Badge Earner of the Month. That pride comes, not simply from a DSP’s ability to graduate (which is an incredible accomplishment on its own) but how they have applied what they learned. John’s story of “Willie’s” path to finding a church is a perfect example of what we mean by person-centered support. John put aside his own feelings and beliefs and worked with the person he supports to choose what was important to him. This dedication goes far beyond the daily activities, and to me, exemplifies what it means to be a DSP. The NADSP program is more than just a learning experience to grow and develop better knowledge and skills. It is a path to build stronger and more fulfilling relationships with the people we support and helping them become “more fully themselves (as John so eloquently states in his submission). I hope everyone reading this story finds inspiration, especially DSPs who are considering the NADSP program. What John has proven is that commitment and hard work can yield positive results for both the people we support but also for the DSP themselves.”

Kim Love, Chief Operating Officer

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.

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About NADSP

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.