Spotlight on Direct Support Professionals

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Spotlight on Deborah Hardy 


My name is Deborah Hardy, and I live in Roosevelt, NY. I currently work at Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County, Inc (CP Nassau). I’ve been employed with the organization since February of 2014. Prior to working at CP Nassau, I ran a day care.  In addition to running my day care, I cared for my sickly mother. In doing so, I realized that I truly enjoy assisting others.

After the loss of my mother, I wanted to be there for others who were in need of assistance. CP Nassau is located in my local community and I knew I could be of assistance to individuals who receive services from the organization.

The most rewarding part of my job is supporting the individuals that are being served. I enjoy working with the participants in my program. It brings me joy to see smiles on their faces daily. In their own ways, they express their love and appreciation for my support and that motivates me to continue doing what I do. I provide assistance, support and encouragement to the individuals that attend program. The individuals I support have various physical and/or intellectual disabilities. I assist them with preparing and eating their meals, using the restroom, walking and/or getting around in their wheelchair and managing their money. I am here to motivate them and encourage them to maximize their abilities.

I attend on-going and annual trainings on how to best assist individuals with a wide array of disabilities. I’ve been trained on methods of feeding individuals that have difficulty eating and swallowing, lifting and transferring individuals in and out of their wheelchairs, how to assist someone experiencing a seizure and how to identify and report abuse. I love what I do and I believe that I am making a difference everyday!

They Do So Much More Than The Minimum

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Direct Support Professional Thank You



September 2016

I like what Brikney does for me. She does it in an orderly fashion. She takes me to the bathroom and gets me my lunch. She drives me to and from my program. She is a good person because she cares so much. Thank you.


Sept. 11-17 is National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week

To commemorate National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week, September 11-17, the #bFair2DirectCare Coalition has called on Governor Cuomo and all state legislators to honor New York’s more than 100,000 direct support professionals and other direct care workers by providing the funding needed so these dedicated, trained professionals can earn a living wage.


Please Spread the Word: bFair2DirectCare

#bFair2DirectCare Campaign Tool Kit

The objective of the #bFair2DirectCare campaign is to convince Governor Cuomo to include funding in the 2017-18 New York State Budget to increase salaries for Direct Support Professionals, Teachers’ Aides and other low-wage workers at not-for-profit organizations providing supports and services for people with disabilities. This must be done before the Governor and his staff start to put the budget together in early November. CP of NYS and other associations have engaged a group of media and political consultants to raise awareness and build support among legislators and the public to convince the Governor to include money in the budget to support “Direct Support Professionals Stabilization Funding.”

What to Do

The #bFair2DirectCare coalition has created a grassroots tool kit (attached).  It includes message points, and sample letters to send to newspapers and legislators. We are asking CP of NYS Affiliates to use the tool kit materials to engage in grassroots activities between now and early November.

  • We ask that you reach out to your local legislators and tell them about the crisis you are facing in regards to staff vacancies and turnover and the difficulty you face in recruiting, hiring and retaining staff because of the lack of funding and other issues. Tell them that the only way to reverse this trend is for NYS to provide more funding for your staff.
  • Reach out to your local media. Tell them about the difficulty in hiring and retaining staff, your high vacancy and turnover rates and the need for the Governor and the legislature to address the issue in the NYS Budget.
  • Encourage your staff and families of the people you support, to reach out to the media and their legislators and tell their story about how turnover, low staff morale and low pay affects them personally.
  • Some Affiliates have worked with other organizations in their area to plan and conduct a news conference with supportive legislators to focus attention on the issues and generate local media attention. If you would like to do that in your area, contact us and we and the consultants can provide assistance in planning the event.
  • If you have a DSP, Teachers’ Aide or other staff or family member who would be interested in serving as a spokesperson for the campaign media events in your area, please place them in contact with Al Shibley at ashibley@cpofnys or Barbara Crosier at bcrosier@cpofnys. They will receive training/coaching from the media consultants before any interview or editorial board meeting.
  • Please encourage anyone and everyone you know to follow the #bFair2DirectCare campaign as well as CP of NYS on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact our Policy Makers about Conflict Free Case Management Changes in NYS

Many in our field have a concern that there will be changes to Medicaid Service Coordination and we don’t want to see the people we support and their families lose their ability to choose their service coordinator or their provider.

Please let policy makers know that they must make the right choice. To that end, we are asking that our Affiliates and others in our field reach out to the people they support, their families, their service coordinators, and others and ask them to write letters expressing their concerns about impending changes to MSC in New York State. Please CLICK HERE to act now and send a letter to your representatives about this critical issue.