NADSP E-Badge Earner of the Month: Kimberly Bumgardner Bergman
Congratulations to Kimberly Bumgardner Bergman, who has been selected as the NADSP E-Badge Academy Earner of the Month for April of 2021. Kimberley 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.
Kimberly works as a Direct Support Professional – 2 for Exceptional Persons Inc. Exceptional Persons Inc’s mission is to connect people, create opportunities, and nurture growth. To learn more about Exceptional Persons Inc., click here.
Kimberly’s Experiences With The NADSP E-Badge Academy
The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) recently asked Kimberly 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
A gentleman I support has very limited verbally ability. He moved in to a community support home last year and I saw he was eating the same food for lunch every day, definitely something he liked but no choices as he wasn’t able to communicate other foods he would like. I assisted him with going through store ads and having him point out other foods he would like and he pointed out many! I then took all the pictures of the foods he showed he liked and put them in to a folder for him to be able to use when making his grocery lists. He has since used that folder to identify when he is ready to get groceries or needs something as well as he now has many choices for lunches.
2. Why is this competency so important to DSPs?
It’s important because they are why we are doing what we do. DSPs are in the lives of persons we serve to assist them with making their lives as fulfilling as possible, and that they know they are being listened to and supported to the best of our abilities.
3. How have you used this competency in your work?
I use this daily. Exploring choices, compassion, support, being listened to and discovering new ways to assist with their voices being heard; are all things person served deserve from their DSPs and I feel that is daily for me.
4. How can other DSPs replicate your practices?
I think overall DSPs are DSPs for a reason, compassion and care. So I think most do this daily as well but we can always take more time to hear the people we support, give them time and attention as well as dignity to always be looking out for ways to improve their lives.
5. How does the NADSP E-Badge Academy benefit your Agency?
We are new to the program but I foresee it being a huge asset in improving the standards we have for DSPs. To lift up quality services and promote continuous learning as well as the ability to improve on our already outstanding DSP’s. There’s always room to learn and grow.
6. How does NADSP E-Badge Academy benefits the People I Support?
Quality DSPs and high standards directly effect the people we support. It allows for better training of DSPs which will give way to better care for them. I also believe the more DSPs grow, he more they will understand and comprehend their roles in the people we support’s lives.
7. What does the future hold for your involvement in NADSP E-Badge Academy?
I already feel I’m learning so much, I can’t wait to continue on with this Academy to improve more upon my skills and abilities so I can assist my agency with mentoring other staff, ultimately to assist the people we support with having a higher level of care.
8. How has NADSP E-Badge Academy affected your professional image? Do you feel stronger professional identity with your occupation?
I definitely feel stronger. I’ve come to realize that though I’ve been with EPI for almost 19 years, I do not know everything and have so much room to grow and more I can learn. I feel this Academy is just what I needed.
9. Do you feel more skilled?
Very much so.
10. How does NADSP E-Badge Academy give you credit for competency?
Every badge earned feels like a win to becoming a better and higher quality DSP.
Well Wishes from Exceptional Persons Inc.
“The most valued employee lifts people up, recognizes accomplishments, even when they are small. The most valued employee is a positive influence, has a unique personality and focuses on what people can do instead of can’t do. One of EPIs most valued employees is Kim Bumgardner. She is compassionate, motivated and does everything she can to encourage the people we support to identify goals and then dedicates her time and energy with supporting people to reach those goals! Kim is an amazing leader and is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.”
-Bonnie Kipper, Program Director
“The leadership and passion Kim brings to EPI as a Direct Service Professional is inspiring. Kim leads her team to ensure people we serve are given the respect, skills and attention to support growth and personal success. Kim’s passion toward leading her team is contagious as many of her peers know Kim’s support will provide collaboration, integrity and solutions. I see Kim’s heart is representative of what building a career as a DSP is all about.”
-Sandy Collins, HR Director
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.