Heather Wilsey, behavior support coordinator at Arc of Oswego County, a Fulton-based nonprofit agency that supports adults, children and families with developmental disabilities, has recently received the New York State Association of Day Service Providers (NYSADSP) Leadership Award.
The award is a significant honor given to someone who provides strong, consistent leadership for direct support professionals.
Wilsey received the award based on her work with the agency’s community habilitation program, a person-centered service that helps people with disabilities become more active in their local community by fostering inclusion and integration.
“It’s all about improving the lives of the people we support and advocating for them in every way we can,” said Wilsey. “I’m truly honored to be recognized for that, but it’s secondary to my goal of bringing joy to their lives.”
When Wilsey started at the agency three years ago, the community habilitation program included four professionals providing services to four people with disabilities. At present, that number has grown to more than 40 enrolled individuals, ranging in age from 6 years old to senior citizens, supported by 18 professionals.
According to a news release, “Wilsey’s creative and flexible leadership style has been instrumental in ensuring success far beyond enrollment numbers. Under her guidance, staff members have embraced their supportive roles while simultaneously promoting individualized goals related to independence and community integration. In turn, this approach assists people with disabilities in developing social skills and realizing their full potential.”