Frontline Initiative DSP Recognition
Dimitriu (Dima) Condratchi:
Massachusetts DSP of the Year
Dima: I work at Work, Community, and Independence (WCI) in Waltham, Massachusetts. I began working as a Direct Support Professional (DSP) in October 2009. I am originally from Eastern Europe and worked as a lawyer there.
FI: Why did you win the DSP award in your state?
I believe I won the award for DSP because I was able to advocate for the people I have supportedin several ways. For example, I have helped some individuals lose a considerable amount of weight, and I have helped one person I support get social security. I also advocated for human rights and privacy. I was able to assist the people I support during a fire emergency. I managed to support them all in evacuating safely, and helped them to recover from the traumatic experience.
I continued to support them as needed throughout the transition. I was promoted to the positionof Entitlement Coordinator in my agency.
FI: What have you learned as a DSP?
I learned quite a bit being a DSP. I had never done any of this work previously and the trainings at my agency helped me a lot. It was a lot of information to absorb but I found it helpful.
FI: Please share more insights
As a DSP, I always kept in mind that I wanted to treat the people I was supporting how I would want my family to be treated.
FI: What are others saying?
ANCOR and WCI: The individuals Dima supports have complex medical needs, require much physical assistance, and are wheelchair dependent. Dima does not believe their physical impairments are barriers to experiencing the same activities enjoyed by non-disabled people. He helps them experience life through their other senses and is passionate in advocating for their full participation in social and community activities...
Recently, Dima was promoted and the day before he was to begin his new job, a serious fire occurred at the home where he works, forcing the evacuation and relocation of the residents to new, temporary quarters. His response to the fire crisis is a clear example of his proficiency. He calmly and efficiently led the staff in the im- mediate evacuation of the home. He completed arrangements for hotel accommodations, and ensured that all supportive devices, clothing and comfort items, and medications were in place.