DSPs Are the Heart of Our Mission


Amanda Adney

During Direct Support Professional Recognition Week (Sept. 12 -18, 2021), some outstanding Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) were identified and recognized on a wide scale in New York State, as well as internally within Abilities First. Amanda Adney, an AF employee of nine years, was selected as a grand-prize winner that acknowledged her for her exceptional service.

Amanda began her career at Abilities First as a bus monitor. She then went on to support folks with their tasks in the workshop and presently is a DayHab specialist.

Amanda professes that she gets more than she gives when it comes to her work at AF. While she admits there are challenging times, she prefers to focus on how rewarding her job is. She loves that she’s able to see the folks she supports smile, hug, and celebrate the accomplishments that she helped them to achieve. Knowing they depend on her to show up and be there for them, it’s a rewarding and meaningful part of her job. 

“In today’s world, these folks are a breath of fresh air. They don’t carry baggage or care about unimportant things,” Amanda said. “They are so pure. No money can buy time or patience, but that is all they ask. I think I get more from them than they do from me.” 

Amanda finds that kindness goes a long way in supporting folks. For anyone who may be thinking of a career as a DSP, she encourages those who can admire others, work together, have a good attitude, maintain patience, and feel relaxed to pursue a career as a DSP. Someone who will just enjoy being with them, and being together, will do wonderful as a DSP. 

She looks forward to continuing her work as a DSP—as do the folks she supports and AF leadership—and we all look forward to her continued contributions. 

Amanda – Thank you for bringing out the best in folks and serving as an exceptional role model for DSPs everywhere!