ARC Staffers Attend National DSP Conference in Nebraska

Carline Cham and Frank DiMaggio, Direct Support Professionals (DSP) with The Arc Rockland, attended the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) Annual Meeting & Conference in Omaha, Nebraska on September 9 and 10. The two were chosen by an executive team based upon essays describing their commitment to the role of DSP.

Carline Cham and Frank DiMaggio, DSPs with The Arc Rockland

The title Direct Support Professionals is apt. These are the men and women who provide direct day-to-day care for people with developmental disabilities while helping them to broaden horizons and gain independence and self-confidence.

Ms. Cham, who earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science from Mercy College, has spent five years as a classroom teacher at The Arc’s Congers location, working with individuals who have a variety of developmental disabilities. “I am always looking for new and unique ideas to bring back to the agency to help the people we support live better and more fulfilling lives. When I first applied to The Arc, I was unsure about my career. After the first couple of months working here, I knew that this was not going to be a job, but a calling. The Conference provided a vision of what I want to do in my career. I hope to move up within this agency to become a trainer and a coach for new Direct Support Professionals, and to help them become leaders in their field.”

Mr. DiMaggio was impressed by the emphasis at the Conference on the importance of “leading by example. Leadership means inspiring others—both the professionals we work with and the individuals we support. People with disabilities don’t always realize their capabilities. It is up to us as DSPs to use the language of self-esteem to help instill confidence in others.”

Mr. DiMaggio holds a degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College. A Community Specialist with The Arc Rockland, he joined The Arc staff a year ago and is currently headquartered at the agency’s new Nyack site. In discussing his career change, he says, “I have always maintained that the field of Direct Support chose me. Becoming a DSP not only gives me a sense of purpose and direction, but it has helped me rediscover the humanity in both myself and others. I am grateful to be a part of The Arc family. It was an honor to represent this agency at the NADSP Conference.”

Thank You to The Arc Rockland’s 2020 Corporate Sponsors: