Expanding abilities one person at a time


December 8, 2023


New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities Announces National Accreditation for Coarc Direct Support Professionals

17 Local Participants of The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals E-Badge Academy Recognized

Click here for video from today’s event


Mellenville, NY (December 8, 2023) – The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities today announced that 17 direct support professionals employed by Coarc will receive credentials through the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) E-Badge Academy. The E-Badge Academy offers Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and Frontline Supervisors (FLS) the ability to earn national certification through stackable electronic badges. These badges demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and values that these professionals use every day, recognizing the professional development that might otherwise go unacknowledged.


“Direct Support Professionals are the heart of the developmental disabilities service system and thousands of New Yorkers rely on them for supported daily living,” said Office for People With Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Kerri Neifeld. “The NADSP E-Badge Academy provides a professional pathway that this skilled workforce deserves and testimonials from DSPs enrolled in the program report feeling more empowered to provide direct care. We appreciate Coarc’s partnership and their enthusiasm as early adopters of this exciting initiative and we look forward to the impact their DSPs will make in the field.”


The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) certification program provides national recognition for the contributions and competence of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) who apply for and meet the certification standards.


The DSP certification (DSP-I, DSP-II, and DSP-III) acknowledges direct support professionals for their exemplary work in supporting people with disabilities and recognizes the knowledge, skills and values of direct support professionals, through participation in the NADSP E-Badge Academy. By earning individual electronic badges based on specific core competencies and hours of completed accredited education, direct support professionals have control and flexibility in their path of pursuing certification.


The organizations employing credentialed DSPs can provide stronger assurances of quality to people supported and can proudly market their employment of nationally certified staff. People receiving supports from certified DSPs will have the advantage of partnering with highly trained professionals committed to supporting them using the ethical and effective interventions that they have mastered.


“Coarc is very pleased to partner with OPWDD and NADSP to provide skill development training to DSPs through NADSP’s E-Badge Academy,” said Coarc Chief Executive Officer Ken Stall. “The trainings allow DSPs to advance their careers while providing the highest quality supports to people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The real beneficiaries of Coarc’s Career Advancement Program are both the people we support and our DSPs. Coarc thanks OPWDD and NADSP for their participation in this collaboration.”


Joe Macbeth, President/CEO of The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals said, “The direct support workforce crisis has been well-documented for decades. Direct support work is not easy and it’s certainly not a job that just anyone can do. It requires complex skills, adherence to ethical standards and impeccable judgment. Over time, provider organizations like Coarc have demonstrated a variety of ways to address these challenges and was one of the first organizations in the country to embrace a career ladder initiative using NADSP’s credentialing program. Coarc’s leadership in this area is commendable.”


About OPWDD 

The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) provides high-quality person-centered supports and services to people with developmental disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders and other neurological impairments. OPWDD provides services directly and through a network of over 600 not-for-profit providers. OPWDD’s mission is to help people with developmental disabilities live richer lives that include meaningful relationships, good health, personal growth, and a home within their community. For more information, visit www.opwdd.ny.gov or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals
The various services and programs offered by The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) provide professional development opportunities along with the resulting recognition and acknowledgement that employees deserve. Whether a DSP pursues a rigorous certification, or a Frontline Supervisor benefits from an in-depth curriculum, NADSP equips organizations with tools to help their employees succeed. For more information about the E-Badge Academy, visit: E-Badge Academy – NADSP.

About Coarc
We are the Columbia County Chapter of The Arc New York, the largest family-based provider of services to people experiencing disabilities in the United States.  Every chapter focuses on meeting the needs of people with disabilities on a daily basis, whatever their income level, age, gender, race/ethnicity, or language. Coarc provides support to more than 400 people experiencing developmental/Intellectual disabilities through our facilities and programs.



Photo Credit: John Benedict, OPWDD