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Citizens Attends 6th Annual NADSP Annual Conference

Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week: A Series

Meet the multi-faceted DSPs that make up Citizens Options Unlimited

On September 8th and 9th, Dapheney Henry, a MedDSP from the Bayshore group home, attended the 6th annual National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Dapheney Henry poses with colleagues at the NADSP conferenceInvited organizations and attendees have been a part of the NADSP E-Badge Academy, which aims to professionalize the role of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and Frontline Supervisors (FLSs) who work directly with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Dapheney recently completed all three tiers of the E-Badge Academy.

Thanks to Vanessa Wright, Learning and Professional Development Specialist, and Jim Stock, Assistant Director of Talent Acquisition, for organizing this trip with 3 DSPs and 1 FLS from our family of organizations, Citizens Options Unlimited and AHRC Nassau.

What is the NADSP E-Badge Academy?

Our family of organizations was provided 100 seats as part of the first wave of disability organizations going through 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 DSPs and FLSs the opportunity to earn stackable electronic badges leading to credentialing and financial bonuses.

This program offers three tiers of completion: Tier 1 provides $500, Tier 2 provides $750, and Tier 3 provides $1,000.Dapheney Henry poses with colleagues at the NADSP conference

Once all three tiers are completed, DSPs receive the title Certified Direct Support Professional (CDSP) and a total of $2,250, which is funded through the grant initiative, as well as an hourly wage increase provided by 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.

Learn more about how you can join the E-Badge program by contacting Vanessa Wright, Learning & Professional Development Specialist at or 516.293-1111 ext. 5366



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