The Point of Interaction Podcast: NADSP Interviews BJ Stasio
In 2021, the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals announced that it would be conducting a comprehensive campaign across the country to explore COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among direct support professionals. NADSP was invited to participate in this initiative as part of a cooperative agreement with the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), with funding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During this year-long campaign, NADSP will be launching a variety of outreach activities including fact sheets, blogs, podcasts, and public service announcements (PSAs) sharing information on COVID-19 and perspectives relative to the DSP workforce.
We are pleased to share podcasts featuring DSPs, family members, and people receiving supports who shared varying perspectives on COVID-19 vaccination.
In January, NADSP’s Director of Educational Services, John Raffaele along with NADSP President and CEO Joe Macbeth recorded our latest episode with self advocate BJ Stasio. BJ was most recently featured in one of the COVID-19 PSAs.
The objectives covered in this episode include understanding the importance of vaccinations along with the support needs of people with disabilities, and finally the importance partnership in the role that one has as a direct support professional in the lives of people with disabilities.
In the interview, BJ shared what he has learned from the pandemic and it’s impact on his daily activities. He shared how the isolation was difficult for him and how advocacy plays an important role in the relationship between a direct support professional and a person receiving supports.
The following highlights are covered during this interview:
- Challenges that BJ has experienced with staffing coverage and supports since March 2020
- BJ’s opinion about vaccinations for direct support professionals
- The impact of BJ’s New York State Senate Testimony
- The “Art of Advocacy” initiative
- Suggestions for people with disabilities who are faced with working with unvaccinated direct support professionals
This interview is available to listen to via our podcast, The Point of Interaction, on Anchor, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Additionally, you can read the full transcript here. In the future we plan to share more of our content via podcasts and hope you will subscribe to our channel.