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Professionalizing the Role of a DSP: NADSP E-Badge Credentialing

Please join us in congratulating Citizens’ 20 enrolled learners who are actively engaged in The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) E-Badge Academy. Made possible by a grant from NY State’s Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), this national certification program offers direct support professionals (DSPs) and frontline supervisors (FLS) the opportunity to earn stackable electronic badges leading to credentialing and a bonus.

Photo of Citizens’ enrolled learners who are actively engaged in the The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) E-Badge AcademyOn June 23, Alison Pingelski, Acting Associate Commissioner of the Division of Administration for OPWDD; Ryan Cox, Director of Workforce Development & Talent Acquisition, OPWDD; and Kathy Brown, NYS E-Badge Academy Administrator, NADSP, joined agency leadership to celebrate the nearly 90 E-Badge learners in our family of organizations.

“Our hardworking DSPs deserve the recognition and professional development opportunities that come from training and credentialing programs like those offered through our partnership with NADSP,” said Pingelski. “We continue to see the growth of this exciting new program, and I am incredibly grateful for the dedication of the DSPs who work tirelessly to enhance the lives of people with disabilities and are equally dedicated to improving their knowledge and skills to better reach that goal.”

Once all three tiers are completed, DSPs receive the title Certified Direct Support Professional (CDSP) as well as a financial bonus for each tier completed, which is funded through the grant initiative, as well as an hourly wage increase provided from our organization.

Across New York State, there are 31 organizations in the program, with five on Long Island. Citizens and AHRC Nassau were two of the first three agencies to be a part of this pilot program. There are currently over 1,200 DSPs going through this program statewide.

Shout out to all of our incredible staff currently enrolled in the E-Badge program:

Emily Barcelona, DSP at Shoreham; Chad Barker, DSP at Shoreham; Briana Brito, DSP at Glen Head; Coretta Brown, DSP at Greenlawn; Jennawade Callum, House Manager at Shoreham; Migdalia Candelario, DSP at Shoreham; Kenesha Cherry, DSP at Lake Grove; Vanessa Freeman, DSP at Shoreham; Krystle Foss, DSP at Shoreham; Renee N. Gill, DSP at Shoreham; Opal Johnson, DSP and Medical Appointment Counselor at Helen Kaplan; Neschel Lafortune, DSP and Medical Appointment Counselor at Port Washington; Wolguens Lormestoire, DSP at West Islip; Ruth Michel, DSP at West Islip; Ebony Miles, DSP at Greenlawn; Kayla Moore, DSP at Shoreham; Justine Pacheco, DSP at Valley Stream; Francois Saintcyr, DSP at Northport; Georfeann Sciulla, Assistant House Manager at Shoreham; and Elsbeth Thomas, DSP at West Hempstead.

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