Certifications: First Aid (July 2010) and CPR (August 2010), MAP (August 2010), Applied Non-Violence (April 2007), Sexuality Education (November 2008), CANS (January 2012)
July 2006 to November 2007, July 2010 to present, DSWI, Direct Care Staff, Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, Pioneer Valley Homes Office, Northampton, MA: Provide assistance to individuals in all activities of daily life, including hygiene, making purchases, social interactions, and transportation. Accompany individuals to medical appointments. Assist individuals activity planning and offering access to new experiences. Help maintain community ties and memberships. Pass medications.
November 2007 to July 2010, DSWII, Direct Care Shift Supervisor, Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, Quabbin Program Office, Belchertown, MA: Train and evaluate new staff. Supervise second shift staff. Help manage financial and medical records of supported individuals. Keep staff and house records organized and current. Plan meals and shop for house necessities. Perform all duties listed above.
March 2009 to June 2009, Sexuality Education Volunteer, Almadan Inc., Amherst, MA: Created an eight week teaching plan including knowledge assessment, general sexuality information, skill building exercises. Taught personal safety skills in a small group setting.
April 2006 (Temporary), Customer Service Representative, Mass Mutual Life Investor Services, Inc., Springfield, MA: Answer questions regarding letters sent out in compliance with new SEC regulations for funds broker/dealers. Give information about accounts. Update records per client request.
November 2005 to February 2006, Customer Service Representative, Teletech Corp., Enfield, CT: Call center environment. Field phone calls regarding billing, technical support, sales and customer relations. Achieved “Rings of Recognition” status, recognizing the top 5 percent in the company.
Fall 2010, UMASS: University without Walls: Courses toward a B. A. in Human Services Advocacy, focusing on transition planning and social-sexuality education of people with intellectual disabilities. Anticipated graduation date: December 2011.
Spring 2009, Holyoke Community College: Courses towards Human Services Direct Care Certificate.
Fall 2001 to Spring 2005: Courses towards Bachelor of the Arts in English with a concentration in editing for publication.
Job Related Training
All descriptions are from the Office of Learning and Development Master Catalog
Human Sexuality, Relationships and Social Skills Training of Trainers
Quite often, people with developmental disabilities are not provided with adequate education and support to develop a positive and healthy sense of their own sexuality and its expression. Lack of information, support and interpersonal skills increase a person’s vulnerability to exploitation and abuse, and can result in decisions that put her or him at risk of injury, emotional trauma, and involvement with the criminal justice system.
Although family members and support staff understand the need for education about sexuality and opportunity to practice social skills and making good decisions, they also frequently feel unsure of how to approach sexuality education with someone, or wonder whether it is wise or necessary to
This eight-day training of trainers will prepare human service support staff to provide well-informed, current, and values-sensitive education and support to individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Participants will gain information and understanding about sexuality, human development and the impact of life experiences on self-awareness, self-esteem, and sexual behavior. They will also develop skills to provide 1:1 and group learning opportunities for the individuals they support.
Teaching Sexuality in Everyday Life
These days, images of sexuality and sexual behavior seem to be everywhere. Whether you are watching television, listening to music, walking in the mall, or looking at billboards along the highway, your eyes and ears are taking in an almost constant barrage of sometimes vague, sometimes explicit, but always alluring (because most of them are meant to sell something!) images of sexuality.
The people you support in their homes, communities and at work are seeing
and hearing these images as well. The difference is that they are sometimes less able to really “see” them for what they are: ideas of fantasies that are intended to jar people’s imaginations and connect them with a product.
This class is designed to teach staff ways to use the images, words and behaviors people might witness in everyday life, as opportunities to teach three basic concepts that are important in sexuality: knowing about your body, understanding relationships, and keeping yourself safe. This session will use popular images from television and movies, magazines and “the mall” to present
ideas for assisting people to tell real from fantasy, and to create positive, healthy and safe ways of understanding and expressing their own sexuality.
See Me as a Whole Person
If we told you that this workshop is about supporting people to have a positive sense of their own sexuality, would you be tempted to say, “Oh that’s not for me…the people I support don’t express an interest?” What comes to mind when you hear the word “sexuality?” If it’s “sex” or “being sexually active,” that is only one aspect. Since birth, sexuality is a part of our personality, influencing our self esteem, how others see us, and how we interact with the world.
Sexually interested or not, sexually active or not, our sexuality is a part of who we are. This session will provide a working definition of “sexuality,” explore how it is an integral part of personality, and focus on how we can support people to develop a positive sense of their whole selves.
Relationships and the Importance of Touch
In our work as support staff, care providers and community companions, most of us have at least occasional reason to touch the individuals we support: to teach, show appreciation, reinforce effort, comfort and others. Direct support staff, their supervisors and administrators of provide agencies understand that human touch is essential to well being.
Many support staff struggle to understand the “appropriate” place of touch in their work with individuals who have developmental or intellectual disabilities (dd/id). They know that people are lonely, and sometimes have little opportunity for affection. They work to provide people with opportunities to make friends and expand their access to different kinds of contact with others
This session is intended to provide participants with a frame for thinking about privacy and touch in their work with people who have developmental disabilities. Our conversation will include ways to help people have their touch needs (intimacy needs) met in different settings, and will present professional standards to guide our use of touch in our work. Recommendations for changes in organizational culture, agency policy and daily practice will also be included.
Communication Enhancement Series
The goal of this series is to provide employees with a conceptual framework of effective communication, as well as specific techniques and practices for communicating effectively in the workplace. It addresses one-to-one and team communication, in addition to skills for dealing with conflict and ways to achieve “win-win” conclusions.