Val Bradley wins NADSP 2017 John F. Kennedy Jr. Award for Direct Support Workforce Advocacy & Leadership
Jul 6th, 2017
NCI Team Member and HSRI President Emerita Val Bradley will be awarded the NADSP 2017 John F. Kennedy Jr. Award for Direct Support Workforce Advocacy & Leadership. Along with her colleague Marianne Taylor, Val will be formally recognized in Omaha, Nebraska on September 9th during a special ceremony at the NADSP Annual Meeting & Conference - The Third One.
Without question these two women have carried out John F. Kennedy Jr's vision of the intersection of a quality direct support workforce and outcomes of people with disabilities. Their careers are distinguished with excellence and iconoclastic leadership that support NADSP's mission. Their contributions have occurred at the individual, organization and national levels. If not for the contributions of these women, NADSP, the credential program, accredited training curricula and the Code of Ethics would not exist.
Ms. Bradley and Ms. Taylor's work over decades has shown brave leadership and commitment to advancing programs and practices designed to increase the knowledge, skills and values of direct support professionals in our communities through improved training programs and career paths. Their work has influenced policy, practice and outcomes of community supports for people with disabilities. Among their many accomplishments are:
* Development, piloting and implementation of the Community Support Skill Standards (CSSS). These standards were forward thinking when released in 1996 and have withstood the test of time as their use is ever present. They serve as the foundation of the NADSP competency areas as well as numerous NADSP approved curriculum, DOL apprenticeship standards and more. The undergird of CSSS resulted in literally millions of DSPs being trained toward KSAs required of their jobs in supporting people to have valued community lives.
* These women understood from the beginning that developing the CSSS was not enough. They ensured the emergence of infrastructure that support the CSSSs. They made critical contributions to the framework and development of NADSPs credentialing program/tools. Marianne was also instrument in the development of the OADSP curriculum and DirectCourse content.
* Under Val Bradley's leadership on the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) she promoted a summit for DSPs which resulted in the development of the NADSP Code of Ethics and eventually the professional association known today as NADSP. Both were staunch advocates and instrumental in evolving a DSP special interest group/division within AAIDD. Ms. Taylor served for many years on the NADSP as a board member and credentialing work group member and reviewer.
* Ms. Bradley and Ms. Taylor have conducted training and technical assistance in nearly every state and countless organizations on using DSW interventions, including CSSS.
* Knowing the critical need for data about the lived outcomes and experiences of people with disabilities who live in the community and the connection between these outcomes and the DSW, Ms. Bradley launched development of the National Core Indicators program which include measures for individuals and the DSP workforce. Nearly all states use the NCI to measure individual outcomes and a growing number are using the staff stability measures. This enables data that connects workforce outcomes (stability, vacancy, wage, benefits, training) to individual outcomes; powerfully rich data needed for DSW advocacy and policy change.
* Ms. Taylor was instrumental in a recent OPWDD project that designed a credential program and evolved data that is being used in their BeFair2DirectCare campaign.
Please join us as we celebrate the careers of true legends of our work to promote the knowledge, skills and values of America's direct support workforce.