Frontline Initiative Person-Centered Practices

DSP credentialing column


Alice Caulfield

Cynthia Jones

Alice and Cynthia are are DSP-Rs at Arc of Ulster-Greene in Kingston, New York. Find the Arc of Ulster-Greene on Facebook and YouTube.  

The DSP Credentialing Column shares the stories of DSPs who have completed a credentialing program. In this issue, we asked credentialed DSPs to explain how credentialing helped them provide person-centered supports. If you would like to be a contributor to the DSP Credentialing Column, please contact Julie Kramme (see page 3).

Alice Caulfield, DSP-R

The NADSP Credentialing process has ignited my commitment to the people I serve. Its dynamic, informative blend of computer training sessions and classroom work, small class size, brilliant and dedicated staff, and a small group of committed students leads to amazing discussions about communication, actions, teaching and planning. These discussions generate ideas that we DSPs put to work. We create person-centered supports and advocate for persons with disabilities. We renew our drive to assist individuals to build relationships, advocate for themselves, pursue their own goals and meet challenges head-on. The NADSP Credentialing Program has made me a better DSP. It has benefited my coworkers by the sharing of ideas and information. Best of all, the NADSP credential has created a climate where DSPs support individuals in the pursuit of their dreams. Not institutional structures, not what someone else wants for them, but their dreams. What can be better than that?

Cynthia Jones, DSP-R

When I started the NADSP credentialing process I struggled with time management and utilizing my great support team. I later found that it is important to set aside time every day to work on credentialing. It is also important to ask for assistance when needed. Despite the challenges, being in the NADSP program has been a great experience of personal and professional growth. I have become a DSP-R at work! I focus on the person I support. This includes being flexible and advocating for individuals that cannot or do not know how to advocate for themselves. I learned through this this program that it is also important to teach individuals how to advocate for themselves. Using person-centered approaches, my relationships with the individuals I support are better. Instead of me deciding what they should eat, individuals make the choices on what to eat. I have shared some of these things I have learned with my coworkers. I have noticed that they too started to use some of these practices. Overall, the credentialing process has been a positive experience. It has given me knowledge and understanding to support individuals in a positive way. I feel I am providing support so that individuals may live more fulfilled lives