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NADSP Point of Interaction Blog

In this week’s Words of Encouragement, we hear from Barbara Merrill, CEO of ANCOR.  In Barbara’s video, she discusses direct support professionals’ commitment to the profession, commitment to the people they support, and their commitment to making us all better. Barbara also reflects on how the pandemic has changed her.

Barbara Merrill has served as ANCOR’s Chief Executive Officer since 2014. The American Network of Community Options and Resources is the nation’s leading association advancing supports and services for people with disabilities, representing 1,600 providers and 56 state associations. A disability and association professional, Barbara has worked on disability issues since 1992 as an advocate, state legislator, and attorney for people with disabilities and the providers who serve them. To learn more about ANCOR, use this link.

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As you continue your essential work in supporting people with disabilities, we want to remind you that you are not alone and you are valued for the incredible work you do. The NADSP is committed to sharing words of encouragement for direct support professionals each week from our colleagues.

Last week, we shared words of encouragement from Dr. Craig Escudé, MD as he shared the importance of direct support professionals. This week, we reached out to our colleague and friend, Philadelphia Inquirer Journalist Ronnie Polaneczky. Ronnie was our NADSP Annual Conference Keynote Speaker in 2018. Many may be familiar with Ms. Polaneczky, as she is the acclaimed author of the investigative series “Falling Off the Cliff” for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. Ronnie oversees the Inquirer’s weekly Good News/Good Stories section, which celebrates the best of us ⁠— and the best in us ⁠— via tales of kindness, hope, inspiration, and common goodness.

In Ronnie Polaneczky’s video, she shares about how grateful she is for direct support professionals and how important they are. To watch Ronnie’s video, use this link.