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Tammy & Greg: Supporting Outcomes Across James’ Life

Submitted By: Jim Blessing, The Arc of Rensselaer County

James receives supports through The Arc of Rensselaer County, a non-profit agency supporting individuals with disabilities and their families throughout Rensselaer County, New York, since 1950. In a Personal Outcome Measures® interview with James, Direct Support Professionals Tammy and Greg were able to better understand outcomes that are important in James’ life. In exploring these outcomes, it was found that James had some unmet goals regarding the indicators for people choose where they work, people experience continuity and security, and people have intimate relationships.

Regarding choosing where he works and experiencing continuity and security, James identified that he wanted employment that was more stable and less stressful. James worked at a multinational retail chain and was not happy. The job was stressful and the work environment was not supportive. For example, when he needed leave time to deal with the death of a parent, he was terminated for missing work. With the assistance of a job coach Greg, who focused on the findings of his Personal Outcome Measures® interview, it was clear that a different employment option was desired.

Greg, using the Personal Outcome Measures® data, took the time to learn more about James. They undertook a shared job search to identify an employment option where the setting offered continuity, the environment provided stability, and responsibilities encompassed independence. In addition to this, through James’ habits and preferences it became evident that evening work hours would fit best into his lifestyle. James and Greg were eventually able to secure employment at Janitronics, a facility services company in New York. James is now one of the longest tenured employees, enjoys autonomy on the job, and even receives compliments from his supervisor’s supervisor!

In James’ Personal Outcome Measures® interview, it was also found that James was lonely and wanted a girlfriend to share his life with. James met Amber, who also receives supports from The Arc of Rensselaer County, about a year ago. They attended community events, movies, etc. and began to develop a friendship, which eventually developed into a romantic relationship. Tammy, a Direct Support Professional, provided desired support for James as he explored what being in a relationship meant for both him and his new girlfriend Amber. Tammy has been a stabilizing force throughout their relationship, as they have experienced the inevitable ups and downs.

As their relationship has developed, James and Amber decided it was important for them to live together, and several months ago they moved into their own apartment! Tammy’s support was very important in helping the couple move in together, while providing assistance with the logistics involved in that transition.After being together for two years, this November James and Amber will be going on their first vacation together – a cruise to the Caribbean!

Through James’ determination along with the supports provided by this Direct Support Professional team, James is now exactly where he wants to be in his life since his Personal Outcome Measures® interview.

Thank you to Tammy, Greg, and Chad for dedication in providing person-centered supports!

2018 Direct Support Professional Recognition Week

This article is part of a campaign during the 2018 Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, to acknowledge Direct Support Professionals who are helping people achieve their individually-defined outcomes, through the use of Personal Outcome Measures®. This campaign was developed through a partnership between CQL | The Council on Quality and Leadership and The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP).