Each year the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), the national association representing providers of community-based services to people with disabilities, chooses a Direct Support Professional from each state to be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the people they serve. Hundreds of people are nominated from all across the country, and The MENTOR Network is proud to announce that our own Peter Mullaney, a Program Coordinator from our partner organization REM Iowa, was selected as the Iowa DSP of the year!
Nominees are judged on their success in helping people with disabilities build social networks and engage in substantive community participation and for advocating for the people they serve.
“Peter has been with REM Iowa for three years, and in that time he has personified the strong values and ethics of an outstanding DSP. He often goes far beyond the call of duty by doing things such as joining REM Iowa’s Autism Champions group, and regularly attending community advocacy meetings – all to the benefit of the people he serves,” said Peter’s Area Supervisor, Amber Glasscock. “He is a seasoned advocate for the rights of the individuals he serves, and he never backs down if he feels that his individual’s rights may have been violated. Individuals are able to have dignity in their daily lives because Peter understands the need for the freedom to make choices, and even risk mistakes just like everyone else.”
Since Peter started working with him, one individual has learned how to effectively control his anger and aggressive behaviors and has become so self-reliant that the team has started discussing the possibility of him moving out on his own with only periodic supports. He now has a driver’s license and a full-time job as a car mechanic. Another individual Peter serves now has a job at a local bookstore and with Peter’s help has become an excellent, healthy cook. None of this could have been possible without the consistent, devoted and compassionate care Peter provides. Peter also knows the other individuals REM Iowa serves and is familiar with their cases even though he doesn’t directly provide services to them.
“Peter is always the first to volunteer for any direct care shifts, and he is the first person his team calls if anything problematic arises. I can’t imagine anyone more deserving of recognition of his dedication than Peter,” said REM Iowa Executive Director, Lisa Pakkebier.