Professional Development Statement


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Professional Development Statement

  1. 1. Geneva J. Chapman, 3411 N. Detroit Ave., Toledo, Ohio 43610 (419) 244-4303 PATHS Portfolio Product Professional Development Statement My personal philosophy is that service surpasses all other pursuits. I believe that each of us is given talents, abilities, and insights that are best used in the service of humanity and that those who fulfill that mission lead the most rewarding lives. My family has provided me with great examples of human service. My great- grandfather was a Baptist preacher and founded a church in a rural community in central Texas, assisting his parishioners and anyone else who needed his help. His youngest daughter, my grandmother, met my grandfather at college and when they graduated they got married and bought the land next to my great- grandparents and my grandfather, a shop teacher, built their house. They spent their lives being of service to their community. I was born in the house my grandfather built and reared there during most of my childhood, during which I was a member of the church my great-grandfather founded. My grandparents’ oldest child, my mother, married a Baptist preacher and she and my father were actively involved in helping the various communities where my father pastored as civil rights activists and service providers in various fields. I am proud of all the service my family has given and am striving to follow their example using natural talents that include communication skills, people skills, and an affinity for instructing others and helping people learn needed skills. I have also acquired many skills that qualify me to work in the human service field through educational training and actual job experience. At various times I have considered becoming an entertainer, a lawyer, a veterinarian, a nurse, a doctor, and a biologist. My dreams of becoming an entertainer were crushed early in life when my grandmother, an elementary school teacher who reared me and was my legal guardian, learned of them and told me in no uncertain terms to forget about anything but going to college. I wanted to be a veterinarian when I went to college on a Valedictorian scholarship that the state of Texas offers, but my grandmother didn’t think that was a suitable occupation for a female; so I majored in nursing for one whole semester, then decided if I was going into medicine I might as well be a doctor. I majored in pre-med for a semester and learned that advanced sciences like physics and organic chemistry were beyond my grasp, so when I moved to Oklahoma to live with my parents, I changed colleges and majors, going back to nursing for one more semester. Then I decided to become a research biologist and continued with this major until my senior year in college. The summer prior to my senior year, I had a class in vascular aquatic plants that was so difficult, I decided not to become a biologist. I changed my major my senior year to English, my best subject, and took five English classes each semester to meet the ten-course requirement for the degree. Meanwhile, most of my electives had been in social sciences, so that, along with biology, became my minor. I graduated with the hope of securing a position as a newspaper reporter, having been editor-in-chief of one college newspaper and a columnist in the other one. However, I was told I didn’t have the experience required when I applied for a job at the daily paper in the small Kansas town where my parents moved to my senior year in college and where I moved after graduation. I did get a job working in a remedial reading lab at the middle school where my three younger siblings were enrolled and was offered the opportunity to apply for an internship in a masters of education program. I became a Teacher Corps intern and attended Wichita State University where I graduated with a Masters of Education Degree in Elementary Education and became a teacher in the Wichita Public Schools. I left teaching after seven years when I became disheartened that the gifted children I taught for three years had very little interest in learning and only seem to care about doing enough to meet the requirements. I moved to Ohio and worked part time as an educational consultant for a textbook company and as a volunteer coordinator at a homeless shelter in Columbus. Mrs. Charlotte Zeigler gave me the opportunity to move to Toledo and work in the field of MR/DD and I lived in a group home with six adult males for three months. Once I was introduced to the field by working as a DSP, I became a QMRP and then a behavior support consultant at Zeigler’s ICF-MR while working part time also as a family life educator in a pregnancy prevention program piloted in two Toledo junior high schools. I did that for a year, and then got another part time job working as a staff writer for a local weekly newspaper. 1
  2. 2. Geneva J. Chapman, 3411 N. Detroit Ave., Toledo, Ohio 43610 (419) 244-4303 PATHS Portfolio Product I applied for a fulltime position with the Lucas County Board of MR/DD and was hired to work with students with behavior concerns in the board’s school, as well as children and adults on the county buses. I also worked with seniors when the school population decreased and was the SBH teacher the last year the school was open. When the school closed, I became a habilitation specialist at one of the county’s sheltered workshops and a professional mentor. Meanwhile, I became certified to teach the thirty-hour seminar class in behavior support and applied for admission to an early intervention degree program and I completed an Educational Specialist Degree at The University of Toledo in Special Education. I also started working part time as a journalist at a weekly newspaper after working as a free lance journalist for over ten years. I was accepted in a management training program after nearly fourteen years working for the board. I interviewed for a manager’s job during my training and was hired as a habilitation coordinator. I managed as many as twenty staff during the year I worked in this capacity. I retired from the board after sixteen and a half years and returned to Zeigler to work as a consultant. My educational training and varied job experience gives me a great deal of knowledge about MR/DD and the various approaches to providing quality service and individualized support to individuals I serve. As a hab coordinator, I was given the task of developing day hab curriculum to replace production work and was so successful in changing the production work floor culture from “work” to “habilitation, I have written a curriculum guide on the subject which I hope to publish. I have over thirty years of experience as an educator with specialized skills in behavior support, communication training, curriculum development, and staff development and training. I plan to use my skills and knowledge to develop curricula for adult day hab programs. A year from now, I plan to have my first curriculum guide published and in two years, I plan to develop a new type of day hab program. In five years, I hope to have that program packaged and start providing certification training for day hab providers seeking licensure for my adult day hab program. I need to put my program in written form, develop the training and certification protocols, and establish the licensure procedures. In order to accomplish this, I will have to learn more about the certification and licensing process and how to establish copyrights and trademarks. I will mostly likely hire a copyright lawyer and seek assistance from experts in certification and licensure. Writing this portfolio gives me the opportunity to put my plans and the skills I bring to this effort down on paper and to assess the strengths I already have and those I need to meet my goals. The work sample I am most proud of is the communication sample because it shows how my various skills were used to assist an individual with impaired communication skills and how I assessed her needs, identified an alternative to her inappropriate behavior, effectively taught the alternative behavior, and assisted her to communicate her needs. This is my ultimate goal: to provide service that will improve and enrich the lives of those I serve. Competency Area: Communication I developed a communication program that replaced a consumer’s inappropriate behavior to request and object or activity with an appropriate means of communication. This sample demonstrates my skills in assessing communication skills, behavior modification, providing individualized instruction and support, and providing communication training. An individual who was unable to communicate her needs appropriately, “acted out” when she wanted something at her residence and while in school. This behavior was reinforced when she received the desired object or activity by residential and school staff. She was released from school early due to her behavioral outbursts and was placed in my habilitation room at a county board adult services center. I saw that she used inappropriate behavior (hand-biting, arching her back, falling on the floor, hitting herself, etc.) to communicate her desires. She acted out initially to obtain one of two things: something to drink or going for a walk. Rather than reinforcing her acting-out behavior, I redirected her to a favorite bean bag to self-calm. Once she was calm, I offered her an empty Styrofoam cup to see if she wanted a drink. She took the cup the first time, thinking I was giving her a drink and became agitated when she saw that the cup was empty, but I indicated that she should give me the cup, which she did willingly and I poured water in it and gave it back to her. We repeated this 2
  3. 3. Geneva J. Chapman, 3411 N. Detroit Ave., Toledo, Ohio 43610 (419) 244-4303 PATHS Portfolio Product procedure every time she wanted a drink, until she started going to get an empty cup to give me to communicate that she wanted a drink. I reinforced her appropriate communication every time she demonstrated it. I repeated the same procedure when she wanted a walk, which she usually showed by trying to leave the room, then acting out when she was redirected. I redirected her to her favorite bean bag each time and once she was calm, gave her a shoe she removed every day when she arrived, indicating she should give it to me so I could put it on her foot. She resisted at first, but once she found out that once the shoe was on, I would take her for a walk, she stopped getting agitated and was soon bringing me her shoe to indicate that she wanted to go for a walk. Having worked as a behavior support specialist, I knew reinforcement of an appropriate behavior as an alternative to inappropriate behavior, after identifying what need the inappropriate behavior met and an appropriate alternative behavior that could be taught and reinforced to meet the identified need, would eliminate the inappropriate behavior. Using my behavior training, I identified the motivation for the inappropriate behavior, how often it occurred, and how to redirect the individual to self-calm so that teaching could take place. My last task was to identify an alternative behavior that would communicate her desire for a drink or to go for a walk. I made sure that the alternative behaviors were natural ones that would be associated with the desired results. I then developed a plan for teaching the alternative behavior, which consisted of giving her an object that she could use to indicate what she wanted since she had no language skills, either verbal or gestural (sign). I followed the teaching plan, reinforcing all occurrences of the alternative behavior until it was learned Quite often non-verbal individuals use inappropriate behavior to communicate a need or desire and if this behavior is reinforced or ‘conditioned,’ it becomes a learned behavior. The inappropriate behavior, which is the individual’s only means of getting a need or want met many times, cannot be changed until an appropriate alternative behavior can be identified and taught to the individual by reinforcing the alternative behavior every time it is exhibited initially. Once the new behavior is learned, the old behavior is no longer needed. Competency Area: Community Living Skills & Supports This work sample demonstrates my ability to recognize strengths of staff and channel them into the right areas, nurturing staff growth and development, as well as providing staff with opportunities to become leaders and more effective DSPs that provide innovative service for our consumers. There are a number of consumers at my former adult day hab center who have Type II Diabetes. It was brought to the attention of the management team at the center that a diabetes class was being taught at another center in the same agency; the hab spec, SASS, interpreter, and residential provider of a consumer with diabetes suggested having a similar class at our center after the interpreter who works at all of the agency’s adult hab centers informed the ISP team about the class. Our facility manager asked for a hab coordinator to assume the responsibility of getting the class started. I volunteered since I was the supervisor assigned to enrichment activities. Although the center had an enrichment specialist who provided in-house enrichment activities, very few classes that were organized by the enrichment specialist were successful, so I decided to talk to the four staff at the center that had Type II Diabetes about teaching the class. Two of the staff were degreed professionals and two were non-degreed professionals. However, one of the non-degreed professionals had worked with me as a hab tech when I was a hab specialist and had shown exceptional leadership in her area, attending all ISPs, contacting residential staff, and working effectively with ten individuals with behavioral concerns for a number of years. I talked to all four staff and the degreed professionals agreed to support the class, but due to their large caseloads, could not commit to teaching it. I didn’t expect them to; however, one of them, along with one of the non-degreed professionals, has an entrepreneurial venture in their area: a food cart that offers consumers and staff snack and lunch items for purchase. I suggested perhaps they could identify which items on the cart were foods that people with Type II Diabetes could eat without raising their blood sugar levels. However, I asked my former hab tech to teach the class. The two of us visited the class at the other adult day hab center 3
  4. 4. Geneva J. Chapman, 3411 N. Detroit Ave., Toledo, Ohio 43610 (419) 244-4303 PATHS Portfolio Product and determined that the enrichment specialist who taught it used community resources, such as nutritionists and nurses trained as diabetic educators. I named the class “Healthy Habits” and the hab tech proceeded to identify individuals at our adult hab center who have diabetes with the help of the hab specs. She held an introductory class to explain what the purpose of the class would be and what they could expect to learn. She also recruited a parent who is a diabetic, as well as a service and support specialist to volunteer. The first session was a huge success. Over twenty consumers attended and the parent volunteer brought in healthy snacks: raw vegetables, fresh fruit, and bottled water. She also brought in a sweet pastry and the consumers were advised to eat these kinds of snacks in small quantities, as each was given one fourth of a sweet roll. Soon, the Healthy Habits teacher brought in a succession of professionals: a dietitian, a podiatrist, a pharmacist, and an exercise instructor. The class meets once a week for instruction and twice a week for exercise (one of the exercise classes is facility-wide and one is just for Healthy Habits). The person I selected to instruct the class was able to get a local sports store to donate free T-shirts for the class and she got sandwiches for a “healthy luncheon” donated by a Subway sandwich shop in the area. The Director of Adult Options attended the luncheon and listened in amazement as the individuals in the class answered questions asked by a nutritionist about Type II Diabetes and how to manage it. Staff and consumers have also initiated interaction with consumers involved in similar classes at the other two day hab centers and the senior center. The entire class marched in a parade sponsored by the facility wearing their shirts, prompting other individuals at the adult day hab to want to participate in a health class. An awards luncheon was planned to give each student in the class a certificate for completing six months of diabetes training. The gala affair was held at the Ability Center and featured healthy foods, a skit performed by students in the class, and remarks from the director and the board’s superintendent. Parents, staff, managers, and administrators were invited and several attended the event. What started out as a class was developed into a complete program that continues to provide support to individuals with Type II Diabetes. Another program was initiated by the hab tech that teaches Healthy Habits to improve the self-esteem of female consumers in the class. Each month a licensed beautician comes out and washes and styles hair for the ladies for a nominal fee. If anyone is unable to pay to have her hair styled, staff donate the money to make sure each female that wants her hair done can take advantage of the onsite “beauty shop.” Due to the demand for a similar class from consumers who are non-diabetic, “Healthy Living” was started to teach general health information. Consumers in both classes participate in daily voluntary lunch checks to make sure they are bringing healthy items to work for lunch. Selected Healthy Habits students were also instructed on how to use a blood glucose meter to check their blood sugar. Most recently, a health fair was sponsored by both classes that included eighty-five vendors offering health-related information. The health fair was attended by consumers and staff from all three board adult hab centers. Consumers with Type II Diabetes are learning how to prepare healthier meals at home and watch their eating when eating out in the community. Similar nutritional information has been provided for consumers taking the general health class. Additionally, consumers in both classes are learning other beneficial health practices that can be used outside of the day hab setting, including: exercising for fitness involving activities as simple as taking a walk; self-esteem building through the beauty clinic and weight loss due to eating healthier and improving physical fitness; and increase in cognition due to acquisition of information on health, nutrition, and fitness. Several students in Healthy Habits have also learned to monitor their own blood sugar levels. The health education program has provided a support group for consumers with diabetes, ongoing education in general health for other consumers, and opportunities for interaction with consumers from other day hab centers and opportunities to form friendships within the classes and with those in other day hab centers with similar concerns and interests. This program is successful and innovative and has received a great deal of attention and interest across the county and the state. As a consultant from Cincinnati observed to the hab tech who teaches Healthy Habits when we shared information about the class at a program-wide enrichment training, “You are saving lives.” The consultant has also suggested that the hab tech teaching the class should train medical professionals how to interact with adults with developmental disabilities more effectively during treatment. 4
  5. 5. Geneva J. Chapman, 3411 N. Detroit Ave., Toledo, Ohio 43610 (419) 244-4303 PATHS Portfolio Product Competency Area: Documentation This work sample demonstrates my ability to provide staff with training to understand and improve documentation. Staff at my previous work site had difficulty understanding how to document goals and supports on the computer. Often the documentation did not reflect the progress made by the consumers. Annually, habilitation coordinators for the board provide documentation training for DSPs in several areas, including computer documentation. I created a training program to address some of the issues that surfaced repeatedly. My training tool consisted of a multiple-choice pre-test, followed by instruction based on staff’s competency on the test. Many DSPs had difficulty passing the pretest, indicating their lack of understanding of the documentation procedure. Incorrect answers were discussed and the correct answers were given and explained. Several DSPs with more experience who passed the pretest gave the correct answers and were able to explain the particular documentation procedure in terms that their co-workers were able to understand. The result was an improvement in documentation in the facility and more accurate information put into the computer. As a follow-up to the training, the hab coordinators checked documentation daily to determine which DSPs were still having difficulty inputting accurate information. Those who continued to have difficulty were given individual instruction and were able to understand the documentation procedure with the additional help. The result was a marked improvement in documentation facility-wide. I was able to engage peers to teach each other during the training, which was most effective in facilitating understanding of the material. Peers also continued to assist those having difficulty doing their daily documentation. The peer instruction coupled with the individual instruction by hab coordinators eliminated most documentation errors at the facility. Previously, the facility had pages of 5
  6. 6. Geneva J. Chapman, 3411 N. Detroit Ave., Toledo, Ohio 43610 (419) 244-4303 PATHS Portfolio Product documentation errors that had to be corrected each month. Following the initiation of the above training model, those errors were reduced to less than one page most months. Accuracy in completing documentation increased the confidence of the DSPs and made each one feel more capable and professional. ISP DOCUMENTATION CHART (Compiled to Input into Computer) Success of ISP Goals & Supports Number, Type of Prompts Used Goals & Supports Goal/ Obj.# Met Not Met Not Gestural Verbal Physical Attempted 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Support # Indicate Whether Supports Provided 1 Provided Not Prov. Not App. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Instructions: 1. Read objective for each goal and note maximum number and type of prompts allowed in order for it to be met. 6
  7. 7. Geneva J. Chapman, 3411 N. Detroit Ave., Toledo, Ohio 43610 (419) 244-4303 PATHS Portfolio Product 2. Use this chart or other paper documentation to record goal success, type, and number of prompts throughout day, as well as which supports are provided and which are not applicable (e.g., safety drills are not done every day and will be documented as “not applicable” on days when there are no drills) 3. Use chart or other paper documentation when inputting documentation data into the computer at the end of the day. 4. Make sure all documentation is accurate before it is sent to supervisor for approval. 7