Becoming a Direct Support Professional (DSP) is a fulfilling career choice. As a DSP, you will have the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the lives of individuals with disabilities and help them reach their full potential.
Here are just a few reasons why you should consider becoming a DSP:
Make a Difference: DSPs play a crucial role in helping individuals with disabilities lead independent and fulfilling lives. You will have the chance to see the positive impact you are making on the lives of others.
Personal Growth: As a DSP, you will have the opportunity to learn new skills, develop empathy and understanding, and gain valuable caregiving experience.
Acquire marketable skills: As a Direct Support Professional, you will learn how to communicate effectively, work as part of a team, and provide support to individuals with disabilities. These skills are transferable to many different careers, making you a sought-after asset in the job market.
Be part of a growing field: The demand for direct support professionals is increasing as more individuals with disabilities seek support to live independently.
Make a difference in your community: In addition to helping individuals with disabilities, DSPs also play a role in creating more inclusive communities. By providing support and promoting independence, you will be helping to break down barriers and promote a more inclusive society.
Flexible Schedule: Not only is the work rewarding, but it’s also flexible. DSPs may work full-time or part-time with shifts ranging from days to nights, and weekends.
We are seeking Direct Support Professionals to join our team. If you are looking for a career that will challenge and inspire you and want to make a positive impact on individuals with disabilities, apply online https://casmircares.com/apply-online/ or call 267-292-3116 today!
National Disability Employment Awareness Month each October to commemorate the many contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy. The theme for NDEAM 2022, “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation,” recognizes the important role people with disabilities play in a diverse and inclusive American workforce.
Held annually, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is led by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, but its true spirit lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year. Employers of all sizes and in all industries are encouraged to participate in NDEAM.
For specific ideas about how you can support National Disability Employment Awareness Month, visit www.dol.gov/NDEAM. Suggestions range from simple, such as putting up a poster, to comprehensive, such as implementing a disability education program. Regardless, all play an important part in fostering a more equitable and inclusive workforce, one where all people are recognized for their abilities — every day of every month.
Direct Support Professional Recognition Week is September 12 -18. This week sets aside time to highlight the selfless work of direct support professionals locally and nationwide.
DSPs are an integral part of the lives of people in the community who have autism, intellectual or developmental disabilities. They are the heart and soul of everything we do at Casmir Care Services to help our individuals live fulfilled and happy lives.
In celebration of Direct Support Professionals, we acknowledge all of our dedicated direct support workers. We celebrate their hearts and the outstanding work they do to support people with disabilities.
We thank them for their tireless work and the difference they make in the lives of those we serve!
Two of our staff we especially want to mention are:
Casmir Care Services Inc. Residential Team is honored to spotlight Ms. Daisy Williams as an exceptional member of our DSP circle. Ms. Williams’ humility, hard work, and dedication to duty go back many years but have been even more evident during the pandemic. Daisy has been the mediator between the DSPs and Management. She is like a mother and grandma to some of our individuals who love her dearly. She has frequently been called “the last man standing” when all others give up. Casmir Care Services is very fortunate and blessed to have her on our Residential Team. We wish to express our appreciation and gratitude for her immeasurable dedication and endeavors untold.
The HCBS Team would like to recognize Lisa Briggs-Petter as an outstanding DSP. We have seen her hard work and dedication to our individuals. She ensures their health and safety needs are met. Lisa exemplifies what a direct support professional should be. She makes the needs of her individuals a priority before anything else. Regardless of any other outside entities, she is always there. We can always count on her to show up and provide the best service.
Although the weather outside may be frightful, there are plenty of reasons not to stay hunkered down inside this December and beyond. A lot of hot spots in Philly become hubs of activity in the winter. You’ll find lots of places to stroll, gawk at the sights, be inspired, and take pictures. And most of the ones listed below are free and accessible.
Christmas Light Show and Wanamaker Organ Concert
Now through Dec. 24 (Closed Christmas Day), Dec. 26-31
Enjoy a longtime Philadelphia tradition. Since 1956, locals have flocked to the Christmas Light Show and Wanamaker Organ Concert, which is wheelchair accessible. Now at Macy’s Center City store in the historic Wanamaker Building, you can watch snowflakes, ballerinas, and reindeer float by against a blue velvet curtain. During the light show, 100,000 bright LED lights create fantastic holiday images. The shows run every two hours from 10 am to 8 pm. At the end of the light show, you’ll hear live festive music from the world-famous Wanamaker Grand Organ. Good, less crowded times for viewing the show are Monday through Thursday.
While you’re there, check out the third floor of Macy’s, which became a “Dickens Village” for the holidays. The 6,000 sq. ft. village brings Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to life with a free self-guided tour of an animatronic display that ends with a one-on-one with Santa.
Where: Macy’s is located in The Wanamaker Building at 13th & Market Streets. More details.
Christmas Village at LOVE Park
Now until Dec. 24
Get into the holiday spirit at Christmas Village at LOVE Park in Philadelphia. Inspired by traditional European open-air Christmas markets, this shopper’s destination offers gifts and festive treats like warm waffles, gingerbread, and mulled wine. About 80 local and international vendors have set up shop here. Each day, street-side performances and special events will be held. For the brave, there are daily Ferris wheel and carousel rides. See the full Christmas Village calendar for upcoming events. The complete festival is wheelchair-accessible.
LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo
Now until January 7, 2023
In the evening the zoo lights up with more than 1 million holiday lights in 14 distinct zones. Displays include a 21-foot tall bright snake, a 100-foot-long aquarium tunnel, and a 15-foot tall glowing blue gorilla! More details
A Longwood Christmas at Longwood Gardens
Now until January 8, 2023
Longwood Gardens transforms into a winter wonderland each holiday season. Dozens of holiday trees, luminous outdoor displays, and magical treehouses are on display. More detail
Winter in Franklin Square
Now until February 26, 2023
Visit Franklin Square for free nightly light shows inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s legendary kite and key experiment. More details
Dilworth Park (multiple attractions)
Now – March 26, 2023 (dates vary by attraction)
Head to Center City’s Dilworth Park to see seasonal attractions that have popped up for the holidays and beyond. Like ice skating? Then glide on over to Rothman Orthopaedics Ice Rink. Even if you prefer not to skate yourself, it’s always fun watching others zipping around. Relax with a hot cocoa at the Rothman Orthopaedics Cabin. And take a stroll through the seasonal plant arrangements and holiday topiary in the Wintergarden. On one side of City Hall, through Jan. 1 you can see a free Deck the Hall light show.
Something new this season is “Play the Lights,” an interactive instrument that works like a normal keyboard, only with technicolor visual effects that are projected onto the façade of City Hall when you play each note. While local professional pianists and organists will be around to showcase what’s possible with synchronized holiday music, you may also get a chance to try your hand at this. Every Tuesday and Wednesday night from 8:45 pm to 9:30 pm, visitors of all ages are welcome to try “playing the lights.”
Look for gifts like handcrafted trinkets, jewelry, and yummies like French toast bites and pretzels at the Made in Philadelphia Holiday Market through Dec. 24. Elevators between the transit concourse and surface streets make Dilworth Park wheelchair-accessible.
Diagnosed before individuals turn 22, developmental disabilities cover a wide range of conditions. Whether cognitive, intellectual, or physical, these disabilities can seem daunting, but many individuals with these conditions can live very full lives with help from physical therapy, living assistance, or medication. We’ll take a look at what developmental disabilities are, how caretakers can help, and how the month of March is dedicated to educating the public about the inclusion of those diagnosed with a developmental disability.
What Are Developmental Disabilities
Often impacting day-to-day functioning, developmental disabilities are recognized when clients are young and appear to be slower in achieving developmental milestones. Those milestones include learning to walk, talk, or interact with others. While milestones aren’t concrete and all children develop at different times, being aware of any possible delays can help parents determine if they need to speak to their doctor.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 17 percent of children have one or more developmental disabilities including hearing loss, vision impairment, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, and ADHD. And while a CDC study shows that some groups can be more likely to be diagnosed with developmental disabilities, no group is immune to these issues.
How Do Developmental Disabilities Occur?
There is no one specific reason why a child could get a developmental disability. Some of the causes, such as drinking while pregnant, are avoidable, but many developmental disabilities, including Down’s Syndrome, are the result of genetic and chromosomal conditions. Or happen because of infections that take place during pregnancy. The causes of some developmental disabilities, like autism, have not been discovered yet so prevention isn’t always possible.
How to Live With Developmental Disabilities
When children are diagnosed with a developmental disability, sometimes parents are concerned because they fear that their child won’t live what they consider to be a ‘normal’ life. This is a great misconception. Many adult individuals who have developmental disabilities can lead full lives, have families, and be employed.
But according to a study conducted by The Autism Society, 85 percent of those with intellectual or developmental disabilities don’t have a job. This gap occurs even though those who do work say that they like what they do for a living, are satisfied with their wages, and their employers are pleased with the individual’s work performance.
So how can caregivers help those with disabilities live to their fullest potential? Making sure that they are seeing their health care professionals is important. Individuals with developmental disabilities might experience mobility issues, hearing issues, or other things that require attention to help handle. Having the right medical tools and, if required, access to physical therapy, helps individuals be as self-sufficient as possible.
In addition to medical access, having support from those around them is paramount to someone who has a developmental disability. That support can be physical assistance, but it’s also emotional. The encouragement given by caretakers and friends to people with disabilities is very powerful. Individuals with disabilities are capable of becoming doctors, actors, managers, chefs, and many other professions. Having encouragement from a young age helps the individual and also shows the general public just what those with disabilities can achieve.
The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) works hard to promote the month through artwork, videos, client stories, and other means to help with the normalization of inclusion of people with developmental disabilities throughout every part of life, while also bringing to light the unfair exclusions that still occur.
How Casmir Care Services Can Help
Casmir Care Services is a leading agency dedicated to providing quality, effective person-center services in an individual’s home. With a mission to improve the quality of life for those with developmental disabilities through care, comfort, and compassion, our Direct Care Professionals treat all individuals and their families with respect. Trained to work specifically with those with developmental issues, our team can help these individuals thrive. For more information on how we can provide in-home support for your family member, contact us to see how we can help.
In November, Casmir Care supported individuals attended “A Night to Remember” hosted by Epic Church. This is a wonderful prom experience designed for adults with disabilities in Philadelphia and surrounding areas.
The evening began with a red carpet entrance and the introduction of a personal “buddy” who attended to the individual’s every need throughout the event. Each guest received VIP treatment at A Night to Remember! The evening included various activities, including dinner, dancing, karaoke, a photo booth, and more. It was a wonderful, fun experience for all!
In July, Casmir Care Services took several individuals on a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation of a lifetime!
Our ship embarked from Cape Liberty, New Jersey. We sailed to the beautiful islands of San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Labadee, Haiti; and Kings Wharf, Bermuda.
Our travel adventure included visiting breathtaking beaches and eating delicious food. While aboard the ship, our individuals enjoyed activities, entertainment, and fine dining. They had many opportunities to shop, explore the ship, relax poolside and engage with other guests. As you can see from the photos below, it was an unforgettable vacation experience for everyone.
Every October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Started in 1945 by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), NDEAM was created to help educate people about issues and biases that can occur with disability employment and to also bring light to the contributions that Americans with disabilities bring to their companies.
According to the DOL, more than 18 million United States citizens with disabilities work either full-time or part-time. Across all age groups, an individual with a disability is less likely to be employed than someone without one. That could be for a variety of reasons including the disability doesn’t allow them to work and also because of discrimination. Helping to educate and eliminate biases against individuals with disabilities is a goal of NDEAM as well as with Casmir Cares.
What Is a Disability?
NPR discovered in one study that 1 in 7 people on Earth is disabled. With the percentage of those who are disabled being employed going down 2 percent over the past year, making concerted efforts to attract and hire an individual with a disability is more important than ever. But what is considered a disability?
Defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as being both physical and mental conditions, despite some beliefs, disabilities are not always visible. Conditions including diseases, deafness, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, blindness, intellectual disabilities, and loss of limbs qualify as a disability. Employers need to be careful not to make pre-employment inquiries about a potential employee’s perceived disability. Every applicant needs to be treated the same. Employers are allowed to ask if applicants can prefer the job, with or without reasonable accommodations.
Even after hiring, employers need to be careful with what they ask and how they treat employees. Well-trained Human Resource departments will be up to date with the laws and should always be consulted by managers to ensure all employees are being treated equally and fairly.
It is illegal for employers to discriminate against qualified individuals who have a disability. This applies to both private employers and government agencies.
How Employers Help Those with Disabilities
The best way to include employees with disabilities is to treat them like every other employee. Whether you can visibly see the disability, or you assume an employee might have a disability, the key to not making judgments to be inclusive. The DOL provides suggestions on how employers can have a year-round strategy on how to advance disability inclusion including:
Hosting a lunch and learn session for employees on disability issues
Providing volunteer hours to employees to help at an organization that assists those with disabilities
Having disability training in onboarding for all employees
Offering classes in American Sign Language to help employees be able to foster better communication between employees who have their hearing and those who are deaf
Another way employers can be inclusive is to actively recruit applicants from organizations that assist in preparing those with disabilities for work. Nonprofits such as Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind, The Arc, and Easterseals work towards providing training and placement to prepare people for the work world. There are also sites like abilityJOBs, GettingHired, and Inclusive that accept job postings from organizations that are interested in becoming more inclusive and interviewing and hiring those with disabilities. Working directly with these organizations can make the process easier for employers who are becoming more inclusive and may need some guidance and education.
Casmir Cares Can Help
Casmir Cares is dedicated to providing vocational assessments, resume and interview preparation, job coaching, and travel training to help empower individuals to successfully integrate into their communities with employment and training. Our job coaches are committed to networking with local community businesses to obtain the best employment match for each individual.
Casmir Cares is also a member of the Philadelphia Employment Forum. A group of representatives from different organizations and parents, the forum is dedicated to promoting employment for those with disabilities. By promoting the philosophy of work and employment for all individuals with disabilities in the Philadelphia area, our goal is to influence and shape policies while educating employers about the many advantages of hiring individuals who happen to have disabilities.
For more information on how Casmir Cares can help your business locate qualified applicants, contact us and we can talk.