Chief Operating Officer at the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals
Desiree started her career by working 28 years as a service provider providing residential and community services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As a service provider and in her role with NYSACRA she focused her work on the facilitation of cultural change in the delivery of services to individuals with intellectual disabilities by supporting a focus on individual’s personal needs, and valued outcome for integrated opportunities, the development of new leaders and strong teams in a variety of settings, and the promotion of direct of support professionals in the areas of role recognition and professional development. In her work at NYSACRA, Desiree worked on Direct Support Professional workforce development through participation in the New York State Developmental Disabilities Talent Development Consortium Workgroup focusing on the development of the DSP and Front line Supervisor Core Competencies and the implementation and promotion of New York State’s Office for People with Developmental Disabilities Regional Centers for Workforce Transformation fostering the education and development of direct support professionals in the areas of the New York State DSP core competencies and the NADSP code of ethics. She has worked closely as part of a mentoring team with the Direct Support Professionals Alliance of New York State (DSPANYS) and as staff liaison for NYSACRA’s Workforce Committee. In 2015 she joined the faculty for the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals and has participated in providing training opportunities to help develop a culture of Direct Support Professional recognition and development throughout New York State. Additionally in this role she has presented webinars to promote Direct Support Professional education and development, and has published an article about guardianship and supported decision making in the Frontline Initiative. In the past two years Desiree has worked with CUNY/Hunter College on the design and pilot of a model of supported decision making, as an alternative to guardianship for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Desiree has a Master’s Degree from Sage Graduate School in Health Services Administration.