Submitted By: Melissa Foote, Inspire

* Name abbreviations have been used to protect the identity of the people described in this story.

Samantha Moreno is a Direct Support Professional working for Inspire, a human service organization operating in Goshen, Newburgh and Monroe, NY. Inspire provides individualized and family-centered supports to promote lives full of opportunities, through a wide array of outpatient, educational, and support services for individuals of all ages and abilities.

Samantha empowers the people she supports to achieve success independently, accompanied with stable guidance. Samantha has a very calm manner about her through the delivery of services, while also keeping firm, consistent boundaries with the people she supports. This allows Samantha to work in tandem with those she supports. Samantha has truly taken the time to get to know two people she supports, A.A. and A.R., and responds accordingly to their needs, involving both immediate desires as well as long-term goals. If they have a goal, Samantha has a goal.

Samantha has worked with A.A. for almost a year and throughout this timeframe, she has developed a relationship built upon trust. This trust has encouraged A.A. to branch out of his comfort zone in the areas of his life that he has chosen. A.A. can often be easily swayed by the opinions of others and will often defer to others’ needs and wants, instead of his own.

Samantha has worked with A.A. to develop effective communication skills. She carries flashcards with her that mirror various social situations – some confrontational – and works with A.A. to identify ways he can better express his needs and wants to others in situations that he normally would find uncomfortable.

She has helped A.A. to set up a bank account, manage his finances, and utilize safe and affordable modes of public transportation. Samantha has also personally connected A.A. with a means to receive guitar lessons – something that is very important to A.A.

A.A. has goal in his LifePlan to attend more heavy metal concerts. Samantha recently provided services to A.A. to attend one of his dream concerts. She worked late and into the early hours of the morning to support A.A. in achieving this goal. In addition, Samantha assists A.A. with utilizing his social skills techniques to introduce himself and engage in conversations with peers when both in organized atmospheres as well as in spontaneous situations.

Samantha supports A.R. as well, and has been working with her for about 2 years now. A.R. lives independently and has limited mobility in one of her hands, which can be a real challenge to A.R., especially when it comes to cooking. While A.R. often resists working on her ADL’s because of this physical obstacle, Samantha knows how to encourage and engage A.R. when this occurs.

A.R. also has some mental health issues coupled with her developmental and physical disabilities. Samantha has identified A.R.’s triggers and can work with A.R. in times of distress. Samantha is always not only patient with A.R. but also knows how to challenge A.R. in a way that most people wouldn’t dare to. Because of this, A.R. is continuing to make progress on her goals.

Samantha always works in alignment with the NADSP Code of Ethics, as this is a value to her. She herself has a son with disabilities and this fosters a drive in her to provide the highest quality of services to the people she supports. Samantha has worked for Inspire for over two years and has shown dedication and determination in her position!

This article is part of a campaign during the 2019 National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, to acknowledge Direct Support Professionals who are demonstrating excellence through the use of NADSP’s Code of Ethics/Competency Areas and/or CQL’s Personal Outcome Measures®. This campaign was developed through a partnership between The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP), CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership, and The American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR).

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