Dave Hingsburger has worked for over 30 years with people with intellectual disabilities. He has worked in a variety of positions during that time, but has always worked directly with people with disabilities in some capacity.
“In the field of disability services turnover is last Tuesday!” – Dave Hingsburger
Nationally, turnover is actually at almost 50%. Here is what Direct Support Staff want:
Here is how one agency is working to change things:
Penn-Mar Human Services was founded in 1981 and serves over 400 people with locations in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Penn-Mar approached Open Future Learning as a means to engage their staff in the National Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) credentialing program.
The first step on the NADSP career ladder program is to become certified as a Direct Support Professional level 1. This requires 50 hours of accredited training. So far over 50 staff have now graduated through this program, and for those graduates, turnover has reduced from 34% to just 16%.
Meet Natalie and learn how she is using Open Future Learning to become certified:
Outside of the NADSP credentialing program all staff are required to complete 24 hours of training per year. Using the flexibility of the Open Future resource, Penn-Mar’s users complete modules on their own and also in group settings. Previously these group style meetings took place in person, but now learners watch the modules as a group over zoom.
All staff are required to complete a set list of modules. Penn-Mar’s director of learning and development Gina Brelesky identified the ‘Personal and Intimate Care’ training as one of the most important and impactful modules that her staff complete. Here is the trailer for that module:
After completing their required training Direct Support Staff meet with their supervisor to review their learning and discuss how they can apply what they have learned to their practice. Professional development on it’s own is not enough. Staff need to demonstrate how they are using what they have learned to impact the lives of the people they support.
To learn more about how you can help your staff to become credentialed, email email@example.com for a demo and a free trial of the Open Future resource.
No punches pulled – just the truth. Our interactive Mini Module ‘Boundaries, Paid Friends’ is four pages long and takes just 20 minutes to complete.
Your staff will learn that they can have a caring and friendly relationship with the people they support without blurring the boundaries. This excerpt might be hard for some disability support workers to watch:
About Mini Learning Modules:
– 30 minutes or less to complete.
– Access them on any device.
– Use them with groups of staff in person or remotely.
– Over 90 mini modules to choose from.
Take a 20 min GoToMeeting demo of our site and your company can have 30 days of access to our entire resource – no contract. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“I used to think that my voice was equally important, if not more so, than the people I supported. In this story I saw this man advocate for himself, speak for himself, and voice his own dreams. It was at this point I understood that I was his ally not his advocate and that only he could advocate for himself. Our job then is to support advocacy, even teach advocacy, but once those are done our primary job is to shut up.” – Dave Hingsburger
This video is an excerpt from the Open Future Learning Mini Module ‘Helping People be in Control.’ Taking 30 minutes to complete, this Mini Learning Module captures everything you expect from Open Future and delivers it in a bite size format.
Our members use this module so their staff know how to help people to:
Make good decisions.
Stay in control while remaining safe.
Use self-advocacy as a powerful way of taking control of their lives.
First month free:
Email email@example.com to schedule a demo of the Open Future resource and then receive your first month free – no contract of use.
Do your support staff seek permission before they touch people? Our members use us to create better support relationships. Watch this video:
Our new module ‘Personal and Intimate Care’ offers several very practical strategies that can be used to seek permission even when people do not use words to speak.
Parallel talk is one such example. Parallel talk simply means describing your actions before and as you take them. It can be as simple as: “I’m just going to reach over for the shaving foam…okay I’m ready to start by helping you wet your face…now are you ready for me to carry on?” The key is ensuring the person is always aware of what is happening well before it happens. A key word, phrase or behavior can indicate someone’s choice. Many people give permission without speech – it could be their facial expression, their posture or simply their gaze. So you wait for their response, then move on.
In the busyness of our work we can forget about humanity really fast. Parallel talk slows us down and reestablishes that connection. Plus when combined with a routine that all staff follow, it can encourage learning. Every time you describe what you do, the individual gets to hear and experience the routine. Without knowing it, learning starts happening and at that point even people with profound disabilities will start to participate in the routine.
Preserving dignity and promoting control are two of the most important tasks a support staff person undertakes. Why? Because we expect it ourselves.
Enjoy this short excerpt from our series of Side by Side modules on Relationships, Dating, and Intimacy written by Dave Hingsburger. There is no “best way” to deal with rejection, but there are a lot of bad ways. The module … Continue reading →
You may have a lovely home in a nice community, but you could still be lonely. Some people with disabilities have experienced abuse and discrimination, and have been not allowed to have ordinary opportunities to be part of community life … Continue reading →
This module presents a clear and matter-of-fact approach to the rights of the people we support. Beyond describing and defining rights, this module gives the user first hand knowledge and expertise on how to maintain and promote the rights of … Continue reading →
Communication is the most complex human skill. It is the way we understand the world, express ourselves as individuals, make choices, develop relationships, build trust and control our lives. In this module, the renowned speech and language specialist, Sue Thurman, … Continue reading →
In this module, leading expert Kay Mills frames her personal experiences with stories of people she has worked with to comprehensively explain how we can help people to build friendships and community. Kay begins by defining both friendships and community … Continue reading →
Relationship, Dating and Intimacy expert, Dave Hingsburger, shares with you his knowledge about the importance of assisting the people we support with developing positive relationships, experiencing dating and intimacy in order to have a fulfilled life. This side-by-side module allows the people who receive support and the people who provide support to learn together. Continue reading →
P.S. We just released a new short version of our module “Abuse Prevention.” After completing this new bite size 80 minute module you will be able to: – Describe what abuse is, along with the signs, symptoms, causes, circumstances, patterns, … Continue reading →
This side-by-side module, by David Hinsburger, was designed to help the people you support to understand and use words to confidently describe who they are. Most importantly this module will help explain what a disability is and help them to like who they are. Continue reading →
Written by Dave Hinsburger, this side by side module will help the people we support to understand what being safe and having freedom means as well explain how to prevent abuse and report abuse should it occur. Continue reading →
Dave Hingsburger will change the way you think about your work and the way that you support people. Our new module ‘Me and Mine’ explores the importance of self and the need to help the people you support to develop … Continue reading →
The words ‘inspirational’ and ‘health and safety’ may not sit easily together. But not many health and safety training courses feature contributions from leading thinkers like Dave Hingsburger, David Pitonyak, Dave Hasbury, and John Raffaele. This module will help to … Continue reading →