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Caroline Lass: The Life Of The Community

Submitted By: Elizabeth Leavitt, The Autism Society of North Carolina

Caroline is a bright, bubbly, and happy-go-lucky staff member who has focused her efforts on supporting teenagers with Autism to develop personal relationships, build upon communication skills, and access as many resources in the community as possible, through hobbies, interests, and health pursuits. Caroline serves as a Direct Support Professional for The Autism Society of North Carolina, a human services organization that provides support and promotes opportunities that enhance the lives of individuals within the autism spectrum and their families. The Autism Society of North Carolina has also achieved CQL Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation.

Through the use of the Personal Outcome Measures® Caroline has witnessed just how important the indicator ‘People participate in the life of the community’ is for those she supports. Caroline has a passion for supporting people to have rich and full lives outside of home and facility-based settings.

Caroline jointly interned with The Autism Society of North Carolina and focused on developing an all-in-one resource reference tool to list events, locations, and activities that are either adaptive, inclusive, or otherwise open to the public. She focuses on empowering people to explore a wide array of activities and events in their community. In any one week, she provides support for people to attend symphonies, orchestras, taekwondo matches, boy scout events, pottery classes, drum circles, outdoor festivals, the library, the YMCA, and more. Caroline has also joined a team to develop an adaptive and inclusive kayaking program. Caroline also offers up her extra time to develop visual structure icons and social stories in order to help people better communicate with others.

The people Caroline supports have all observably flourished in confidence, happiness, and excitement to explore the world around them. Caroline is in high-demand by people receiving services, who enjoy her cheerful spirit and ‘can-do’ attitude to ensure ‘people participate in the life of the community.’ Caroline is working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Recreational Therapy. After she completes her undergraduate degree, she is considering law school, with a focus on disability rights.

2019 National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week

This article is part of a campaign during the 2019 National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, to acknowledge Direct Support Professionals who are demonstrating excellence through the use of CQL’s Personal Outcome Measures® and/or NADSP’s Code of Ethics/Competency Areas. This campaign was developed through a partnership between CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership, The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP), and The American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR).