Monday, March 18, 2013

LIGHT in some dark "NY Times"!

My friend, Don Traynor of The Resource Center in Jamestown, NY, spoke of an"ugly gift". It was given to the world on March 12th, 2011 in a NY Times article written largely by reporter Danny Hakim. It was the opening salvo of a series of close to 20 articles about abuse and impunity committed by direct support staff at state run group homes and developmental centers as well as non-for profit voluntary service providers. The articles had some terrible reports of horrible instances of abuse and neglect of people with disabilities by the hands of direct support professionals. The articles created a storm of change and reformation in the NY State system of care and support of people with developmental disabilities and their families. It has been an ugly two years in NY State in many ways.

HOWEVER.....we received some wonderful GIFTS, from these developments....let's take account...
  • Provider agencies began to see that direct support needed to be recognized more seriously as a profession and craft rather than the "cost of doing business"  
  • Many, many other positive things have happened in spite of the articles defaming and blasting the evil-doing direct support staff throughout the state. Yes, there are some bad people out there..... they are few in comparison to the kind you can read about below!!  Please read this light from Jamestown, NY....
... in Western NY State a few dedicated Direct Support Professionals from one particular agency decided to go full throttle  DSP-C...   Read the story here........

There is light in the darkness.....


  1. Honestly, I have to say that I entered the field just before the articles started; luckily, the ethics and mission were already in place, the expectations... our director was a remarkable man. He kept abreast of things such as these... cases in the news, and had such a way to him that you were... you didn't want to let him down. We all did the best we could in staying on top of the 147 issues... and he is the reason that I, too entered the CDS. He was the one to encourage me, suggested to me and the head of HR and Staff Development that I enroll... as well as other DSPs. Congrats to those DSPs who went for it and succeeded! I know that when I entered this field, I was unsure I would be able to complete a week, and as my former Director said "it isn't a job, but a calling"; I found my calling. Going through the bad press, being encouraged by it, going through these courses- and some others- I am further encouraged and convinced that I made the right decision, and am glad to see others out there doing the same. So, thank you, Danny Hakim. And thank you, as always, John, and all of the others at NADSP, DSPANYS, and fellow DSPs. <3

  2. Corrinne.
    You speak about a leader in the organization in which you are employed that "inspired" you and set a tone. It is exactly what our field needs. We need more and more Executives, Administrators and people in authority to value and support direct support. You were fortunate to land in an agency that has a log history of that. I happen to know the man you discuss in your comment and couldn't agree with you more about his integrity and focus on the people he supported and the people who supported them...the DSPs....thanks for posting.

  3. :) He was wonderful, IS, as a person... my point was in agreement, that there WAS light in/from the darkness, and gratitude for others in seeing and thinking along the same vein. I AM fortunate... in ways. :) I have always been dedicated to doing my best in this field, but sometimes people like Danny give a little extra nudge... hopefully I'm not the only receiving it. That's all I meant to say. :)