NAQ: A Place to Learn, Connect & Share 

Congratulations to our Spotlight Award Winners!

Ramona "Mone" Tate - October 2021

Ramona Tate, Case Facilitator, has been nominated by Michele Gilbertson:

Mone is fantastic with bringing hope and positivity to those individuals around her. She believes in community and wants her clients to have opportunities to build relationships and increase their circle of support. She is a strong advocate for clients when they have medical concerns and doesn't accept mediocre answers from professionals when they don't understand the client's specific needs. She supports her field staff by finding creative ways to demonstrate she values and appreciates them. Once she purchased a large candy bar for every field staff on her team and wrapped them in gold foil. She attached a thank you note and let every field staff know that they are the golden ticket. She brings her staff coffee and when they have a loss of a loved one, she organizes and sends them care baskets. Mone is a very giving and loving leader ensuring equality to all of her team members. She understands and recognized that that her clients are impacted by their direct support staff. Ensuring support staff are valued and appreciated by their employer is key.

Mone is usually the first one to step up and go the extra mile for her team and those around her. She is always willing to work overtime and work long hours to ensure new clients have staff and that they are established in their own homes. Recently Mone assisted her supervisor with bringing on a new client from a residential home into their first apartment with 24/7 staffing support. Mone believes that her clients deserve to have the life they want to live and to have the freedom to make their own choices. She demonstrates this by providing them opportunities to make their own decisions, by taking time to listen to them when they express their wants and needs and she empowers them to succeed by believing in endless possibilities.

Abreya Jacobson - September 2021

Abreya Jacobson, a Program Director has been nominated by Kelsey Kittleson:

Abreya, started her career with REM as a direct support staff member. As she finished her degree, she moved into her Program Director position. She understands the importance of staff training. Abreya, is constantly working to empower her staff, who then in turn provide quality services. She ensures meaningful plans are prepared and she is always looking for different opportunities within our community for the people we support to attend.

One example of how Abreya exceeds expectations is, a person supported had their family as their guardian for many years. The family unfortunately, doesn't visit, doesn't attend annual plan meetings or call. Abreya went above and beyond by petitioning to the courts, the person supported deserves more. The deserve visits, phone calls and check-ins from a guardian. After months of work, the person supported received a new court appointed guardian. The individual is much happier and gets so excited for his annual meetings. 


Jaimie O'Leary - August 2021

Jaimie O'Leary, a QIDP of Residential Services has been nominated by Jillian Gonzalez:

Jaimie has committed time to ensuring the individuals in CILAs enjoy meaningful activities. She has personally coordinated several meals on wheels volunteer events, reading clubs, and assisted individuals in registering for and participating in special recreation activities. Jaimie consistently goes out of her way to support individualized choice in the CILAs by assisting the adults in printing out photos and purchasing items to decorate and personalize their space. The residents light up when she enters the home as they know she will be coming with some type of meaningful activity with them. Jaimie applied for a grant to obtain donations for the studio to ensure the adults had access to high quality materials for their practice. Her passion and commitment extends even to the individuals' family members, Jaimie consistently goes out of her way to assist in home visits, obtaining signatures, and ensuring the adults are able to enjoy celebrations and make memories with their loved ones.

Jaimie consistently comes to work incredibly positive. She also consistently advocates for the individuals even if it would mean more work or additional time. Jaimie participates in trainings to improve her skills and shares what she learns with her peers.

Kristen Smith - July 2021

Kristen Smith, a Senior Residence Manager/QIDP has been nominated by Lisa Giglio:

Kristen goes above beyond. In the residence she manages, the individuals affectionately refer to her as "house mama". Kristen was instrumental in the development of an Agency wide in House Orientation Manual. She is an investigator and conducts investigations along with her numerous responsibilities. During the Pandemic she secured N95, Surgical masks and sanitizer for the agency, traveling to different donation locations on Long Island to ensure that there were enough supplies when there was a high demand. Kristen even moved in to residence during the height of the pandemic to ensure the utmost care was provided to her individuals and that her staff were provided with the support they needed.

She has spearheaded a curriculum for QIDP paperwork as well as assisted in training other QIDP’s responsible. She developed numerous forms and charts to simplify and maximize billing.

 NAQ would like to sincerely thank all of these disability professionals for their contribution to the field and their continued positive impact.

 Do you know a QIDP or case manager that consistently goes above and beyond – someone who deserves a little extra recognition for a job well done? If so, please nominate them for NAQs Spotlight Award - an honor given each month to an exceptional disability professional.  

Nominate Now!
View Past Spotlight Award Winners



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A New Plan

A New Plan renews the promise of person-centered planning with powerful research-based positive psychology skills and tools. Authors Dykstra & Dykstra build on the foundation of historical contributions to advance their 10 Principles of Person-Centered Planning. They reflect on the reasons people don’t plan and stress the importance of addressing personal outcomes. A New Plan introduces the role of the Champion in the life of a person who has disabilities and includes a new implementation framework, along with the specific action steps needed to enable a person to flourish and live their best life possible.

The authors stress the importance of cultivating a positive organizational culture. The book includes the Organizational Inventory of Person-Centeredness that allows readers and providers to assess their person-centered efforts and find areas to address for continuous improvement.


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Food for Thought:

“If you're always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.”

Quote by Maya Angelou