OPWDD’s Everyday Heroes initiative began in 2001 in NYC, when direct support professionals from voluntary agencies and DDSOs helped design a “How To” curriculum and companion teaching materials to aid direct support professionals in their work efforts that help support community lives for people with developmental disabilities. However, Everyday Heroes has become more than a training curriculum; it is a mindset nurtured by OPWDD. Everyday Heroes are direct support professionals who help people with disabilities make community connections everyday. Everyday Heroes are found throughout the DDSOs and voluntary agencies. Their stories detail the unique strategies for inclusion that come from the collective imaginations of direct support workers, administrators and clinicians how and why life changed, and how people moved from old ways to better and ultimately best practices in community inclusion.
The Everyday Heroes workbook, storybooks, and annual calendars developed through the years share the Everyday Heroes values system wide, and collectively teach the values of inclusion from a direct care perspective. The Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC), the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), and Westchester ARC partnered with OPWDD to produce the Everyday Heroes Instructional DVD and Users Guide, which has been disseminated widely throughout NYS, the nation, and even Australia. The success of OPWDD's Everyday Heroes led to the University of Minnesota and National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP) giving OPWDD one of its 2004 Moving Mountains Awards. However, Everyday Heroes is more than a training curriculum it is a mindset nurtured by OPWDD. Everyday Heroes are direct support professionals who help people with disabilities make community connections everyday.
- Watch the Video - Full Version Short Version
- Access the Everyday Heroes training curriculum, Everyday Heroes, Building Direct Support Leadership for Community Inclusion, December 2002, and Users Guide.
Please learn more about DDSO and agency efforts to honor those who make community lives happen for people, one person at a time. Hear their stories of inclusion. They will inspire you to encourage and sustain Everyday Heroes in your organization.