Heidi Friedman, a local life coach, has been awarded a statewide honor by The Arc, a 60-year-old national organization, and ANCOR, an associated organization.
The community-based organization advocates for and serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. DelArc, the Delaware County chapter, is one of more than 700 state and local chapters nationwide.
The Arc encompasses all ages and all spectrums from autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X and many other developmental disabilities.
On another wave length, American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), also national, is a trade association representing more than 800 private providers, servicing more than 400,000 individuals with disabilities. ANCOR, in its continued activism to ensure well-trained and sustainable direct support workforces, offers an annual Direct Support Person (DSP) Award.
“We have so many qualified and excellent DSP’s at DelArc, that all the directors joined together to nominate one for the ANCOR Recognition Award,” said Catherine Tweedie, Director of Community Relations at DelArc. “It’s a nice way not only to thank the DSPs for their dedication, but also to bring to the public’s attention the important and essential work Direct Service Professionals do.”
At the beginning 2013, detailed nominations are sent to ANCOR, where the list was whittled to one winner per state. Nominees are judged on the work they’ve done to build social networks, substantiate community participation and advocate for the people they support.
Friedman, Life Coach VII at Community Living Skills (CLS) in Arkville, was selected by ANCOR as the 2013 Direct Support Person of the Year for New York state.
“We at The Arc of Delaware County are very proud of Heidi. She reflects the quality of services provided by her and our agency,” said Tweedie.
The Arc said Friedman was selected because of her background as a person who builds relationships with the people she supports. Her approaches to support are innovative and creative. For example, the imaginative idea to place a walkie-talkie in the hoodie of a client who was leading a hike allowed for the client to experience confidence as he led the hikers while being encouraged verbally through the walkie-talkie.