During this year's National DSP Week, Ardmore joined many people across the country to recognize and celebrate direct support professionals and their commitment to people supported. Throughout the week, DSPs attended different celebration events such as a self-care day, movie night, a cookout, and other fun activities.
Meet DSP Roseline Adegoke
Roseline has been with Ardmore for over 7 years and shares her experience as a DSP. Coming from a background as a CNA and medical assistant, Roseline describes herself as a person who loves to care for those who need assistance. What Roseline loves most about being a DSP and working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is the bond that she builds with the people she supports. “They are friendly and kind. They have personality and become like my family”. Roseline’s natural way of supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities exemplifies our person-centered approach. She shows the importance of allowing people supported to choose for themselves. “You have to come to their level. You ask what they like and what they want to do. This makes the job easy. You don’t just throw things at them; that will make them upset”. Roseline emphasizes her love for being a DSP but it has its challenges. Roseline says the most common challenge that arises on the job is a shortage of coverage. “When challenges arise, you address it, and you keep going." She is happy that our organization is attentive to the needs of DSP staff. When asked what advice she would give to help those looking to become a DSP to support people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, Roseline says “Onboard!.....it’s the right job. There is room for growth. Just know that you will be there for them and advocate for them when they can’t speak up for themselves. I just got off work at 9 am and it is 11:45 am and I am still here, enjoying my time and laughing with them because I love it”. Ardmore thanks Roseline and all other DSPs for their hard work and dedication the to IDD community.
This newsletter highlights the importance of direct support professionals (DSPs) who work directly with people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD), supporting them in daily living activities in their homes and communities. They act as the bridge for people supported to be included as neighbors, volunteers, and employees. DSPs are essential workers who support and promote the inclusion of people with disabilities so that all people may live up to their fullest potential.
DSP Week 2022 Recap
Ardmore's direct support professionals are critical to the mission of our organization. The role of a DSP usually goes unrecognized by those outside of the IDD community. Last year Governor Larry Hogan signed a proclamation declaring DSP week as an official holiday in Maryland. This proclamation took us a step closer to recognizing DSP as an official and unique occupation, leading the way to more funding and resources for the IDD community. DSP Recognition Week 2022 is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate the people committed to supporting others to be active participants in communities.
With a growing team of over 190 direct support professionals who receive highly specialized training to develop the skills needed and demonstrate their commitment to people supported every day, Ardmore is thankful for these people who dedicate their lives to the IDD community and we are proud to celebrate DSP Week.
Advocate For Change
Save Our System: An Urgent Call For Action
While DSP Week is a great way to celebrate the frontline people who work hard to make our mission work, we recognize that this is not enough. Direct support professionals can be further supported by addressing issues in our community that directly affect their role and the people they support. Our direct support professionals work through difficult challenges that arise in the face of significant labor shortages that will ultimately affect our people supported. Ardmore partners with ANCOR to tackle the issue of labor shortages by advocating for more funding and resources that will allow for fair pay. Please visit our advocacy page for information on this issue and to see what steps you can take to support our DSPs and the IDD community.
October Is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) began in 1945 when it was first called “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.”, later being changed to include people with all types of disabilities.
This year, the theme is "Disability: Part of the Equity Equation". A huge part of Ardmore's mission is to push for the true inclusion of all people. Through our Employment Program, we remind and educate the general public, specifically employers, on how including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the workforce is what equals true diversity. NDEAM allows us to recognize and advocate for people with all types of disabilities who break barriers just to have a place in the workforce. Ardmore is proud to celebrate NDEAM.
Ardmore In The community
Pathways to Employment
At Ardmore, we create employment pathways for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by using the Employment First framework in our Employment Program. This framework is built on the proof that
all people, including those with the most challenging disabilities, are capable of full participation in employment and community life that creates the same standards, opportunities, and interactions as people without disabilities. Employment First allows Ardmore to customize employment through the three-step process listed below through a person-centered approach.
Discovery: Employment specialists provide a time-limited, community-based personal assessment designed to assist the person and their support team to identify the person’s abilities, interests, and ideal conditions of employment.
Job Development: Once a job seeker’s ideal conditions of employment have been identified, a Job Developer can assist in matching a person’s skills and abilities with the needs of a community employer.
Follow-Along and Ongoing Job Supports: Once a person is employed, Ardmore will provide the support needed to maintain that employment. Support is based on the needs of each employee and their employment.
We love to see the people we support have access to the employment opportunities they deserve. Kudos to Eric Dunston for being amid a great internship training program with Project Hire, that his support staff Tania Cole helped to facilitate. Visit our Employment Services page for information on our program.
Is Your Business Hiring?
Learn more about how Ardmore can support your recruitment efforts while diversifying your workplace. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-306-2575.
Discovery, Job Development
and Ongoing Job Supports
Community Engagement With Ardmore
What is community engagement?
It is exploring and participating in a person’s community in different, meaningful ways. It’s something we all do every day without much thought. The ways we participate in the community with the people we support are based on their interests and goals. Some examples of community engagement include:
-Taking a class to learn and connect with others who have the same interests.
-Volunteering with a non-profit organization to give back to the community.
-Going to the local gym to work on health & fitness goals.
-Attending community-sponsored events.
-Taking time to get to know neighbors and others who live and work in their community.
Ardmore provides a wide variety of opportunities to explore fun activities, build relationships, and use community resources. The areas we focus on are fun/creativity, healthy living, and giving back.
In a nutshell, we’re building “life resumes” by way of meaningful experiences and relationships.
Ardmore’s role is to put people in the driver's seat and figure out what they want their day to look like. We’re simply living life alongside people, coordinating, and providing a little support along the way.
Here's a thought on connection and community:
“The need for connection and community is primal, as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food.” -Dean Ornish
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are productive and valuable members of our community. Our Meaningful Day Program supports people by providing customized opportunities to connect with their community.
Ransome Stanley was the football fan with the most spirit when he attended the Crofton High School football game last Friday night. He donned a red & black shirt (school colors) and cheered until Crofton beat Severna Park 7-6!
Gary Spencer & Larry Jarvis (DSP: Tawanna Campbell) partnered with A Wider Circle, an organization that aims to end poverty. The guys spend 2 days per month delivering care packages full of household supplies to families in Washington, DC.
Have an old car that you need to get rid of? Donate it to us!
Did you know that your donations can help with our mission? Any form of the donation goes toward helping the many people that use our services and helps provide access to direct support professionals and other resources. Click the donate now button to learn more about ways you can donate.
Staff Hires, Promotions, Accolades and Notations
Congratulations to Pamela Brown on her promotion to Director of Operations. In this role, Pam will focus on the continuous improvement of operations that support the organization's mission of providing quality, person-centered support across services. Thank you, Pam, for your commitment and dedication to enriching the lives of each person receiving services from Ardmore.
Careers with Purpose
Ardmore is hiring and we ask that you continue to strengthen Team Ardmore by connecting your friends and associates to the Ardmore Family. If you (or someone you know) are ready for a career that changes lives?
Check out our current job opportunities.
Welcome Aboard To Our New Employees
As Ardmore grows to support more people, we are pleased to constantly add new faces to our team. We are happy to onboard and welcome several new employees which include over 16 residential counselors and over 9 administrative roles such as community support specialists and other vital staff. As our mission grows, so does our team.