Seven agencies participated in a leadership program for provider organizations serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
A group of Texas organizations that provide support services for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) received front-line supervisor training through Project Leadership Challenge, a statewide leadership training program designed to prepare the next generation of leaders working with individuals with I/DD.
The training was provided virtually on April 20-22 by Texas Tech University's Virginia Murray Sowell Center for Research and Education in Sensory Disabilities and the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) and was designed to equip organizations with the skills and resources needed to best prepare, mentor and coach direct support professionals who work directly with people who have I/DD. All participating organizations were provided a nationally validated curriculum they can use for multiple years.
"Through Project Leadership Challenge, we have been able to offer several opportunities to enhance the leadership abilities of those working with people with developmental disabilities across Texas,” said Stacy Carter, a professor of special education at Texas Tech and project director for Project Leadership Challenge. “The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals conducted this workshop using a state-of-the-art curriculum that these professionals can use to train others and strengthen their leadership skills for years to come."
A total of 25 people from seven agencies located across Texas completed the training:
- Down Home Ranch – Ashley Fleming, Brandi Smith, Angie Torres, Cedric Wilson
- East Texas Center for Independent Living – Joanna Willis, Amy Wilson
- Gulf Coast Center – Deanna David, Shannon Counsel, Valerie Magruder, Jamie White
- Nueces Center for Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities – Johnite “Ryen” De Jesus, Delma Gonzales, Laurel Kanipe, Nesrin Omar
- Spindletop Center – Amanda Buck, Kertrita Johnson, Jamie Jones, Sandra Mason
- StarCare Speciality Health System – Hattie Ford, Jackie Priestly, Glenda Sanders, Ecia Taylor
- Summerhouse Houston – Joanna Burnett, Angie Crutchfield, Megan Maradiago
“I have been through numerous annual trainings for 16 years, and none of them were as comprehensive and informed as the learning experience provided by NADSP,” said Pam Lindell, a Project Leadership Challenge staff member and a direct support professional. “The training is built around sound, research-based knowledge. It also included a code of ethics designed around values in nine client-based areas and competency skills designed around 15 competency areas.”
Project Leadership Challenge is an intensive leadership development program for leaders of provider organizations. Participants work to transform their organizations so the people with IDD they serve experience an improved quality of life and increased community inclusion.
Project Leadership Challenge is funded by the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) and coordinated by the Sowell Center. The mission of TCDD is to create change so that all people with disabilities are fully included in their communities and exercise control over their own lives.