Spotlight Award Winners

Brad McCann - September 2022

Brad was nominated by Elsa Warren. Their nomination can be read below.

Brad McCann is known for celebrating successes large and small, both for the people he serves as well as his colleagues, and he views his work with a positive, can-do attitude. He always goes above and beyond and is happy to pitch in wherever needed, even outside of his job description
While Brad helps many people, there is one individual who epitomizes the effect Brad has. This individual has autism and is nonverbal. He used to be very shy and had a hard time interacting in group activities. With Brad’s help, he is now happy and exuberant, and he loves to join in group activities. Brad’s colleagues credit him for this individual’s growth.

It doesn’t matter what the situation is, Brad makes it fun for his coworkers and the people he serves. He creates an environment where everyone is empowered to do their best.


Heather Weber - August 2022

Heather was nominated by Linda Van Dyke. Their nomination can be read below.

Heather has served in multiple capacities to advocate for the Developmentally Disabled Community.  She is currently finishing her LCSW Masters at Western University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Heather demonstrates excellent empathetic listening and attends to all involved in the support team. I always appreciate Heather listening to my son (despite some rambling and difficulty in getting the complete story told from his perspective). Heather facilitates meaningful goals for my son's life and enrichment rather than 'rubber stamp' common or familiar goals encountered in the DD population.  Her attention to detail is very encouraging!  Heather is also FLEXIBLE.  I have appreciated her willingness to adjust times for meeting, especially given medical appointments I have recently needed to prioritize, resulting in needing to change our meeting times with very little notice. She brings to the table a plethora of community resources and other valuable information to consider in tailoring a plan for my son. Heather is the epitome of "Person Centered Planning" at its best.

Heather lives several realms above a common quip "It's not my job." Heather welcomes questions and never repeatedly checks the time as a hint to end the meeting. Attention to the individual is not sacrificed by the EXTREME demands of her job. Heather continually maintains eye contact with my son and speaks directly to him as opposed to speaking only to other team members.


Sofia Phillips - July 2022

Sofia was nominated by Theresa Alexander. Their nomination can be read below.

Simply put, Sofia Phillips finds a way. Like many agencies during the pandemic, we've struggled with staffing at our Youngstown location. The shortage has put a strain on the system and meant that everyone has had to work harder to provide the care the children and families we serve depend on. It's been stressful and scary, but you wouldn't know that at all if you were fortunate enough to work with Sofia.

Sofia volunteers to help wherever help is needed. She covers a variety of shifts, and she does it with a smile because she knows that's what the people we serve need. The number of compliments she receives from families is overwhelming. They see her as a caregiver in the truest sense of the word, and that positivity is contagious.

When we don't have much control over complex and shifting situations, how a DDP approaches a challenge matters a great deal. Sofia is a role model in that sense. Her positivity and willingness to step up encourages others to do the same.

 Do you know a DDP that consistently goes above and beyond – someone who deserves a little extra recognition for a job well done? If so, please nominate them for NAQs Spotlight Award - an honor given each month to an exceptional disability professional.  

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View Past Spotlight Award Winners





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