Johnny Cartwright smiling, holding onto a black and white dog.

We are pleased to announce Johnny Cartwright as one of our 2018 Direct Support Professionals of the Year for his outstanding abilities to provide support services. Johnny works with a young man named Logan; Johnny and Logan have been a team for four years, working together to tackle the communication and social challenges that come with Logan’s autism. Logan, who is thirteen years old, is mostly non-verbal with a limited vocabulary, making it difficult to connect and relate with those around him. Johnny has discovered ways to connect with Logan and help him move past difficult situations. Logan’s mom, Margaret, praises Johnny’s skills, saying his involvement gives Logan the tools he needs to succeed, which brings the family peace of mind. “Johnny’s patience, sensitivity, and attention to Logan have resulted in Johnny often being the first to do things with Logan that others – therapists, family, school professionals – have not yet been able to accomplish,” says Margaret.

Johnny also has willingness to go beyond his responsibilities as a support worker at school. This spring, he went to Logan’s house before school to monitor Logan’s morning routine. Johnny was able to use his behavior-analysis training to recommend changes in Logan’s morning routine to improve his hygiene and ability to get ready for school independently. Johnny has also contributed to Logan’s increased physical activity and social inclusion by teaching him how to play soccer. The interaction with other kids is very important because, as Margaret states, “it provides an opportunity to practice speech and socialization.”

Johnny is committed to empowering the individuals he supports by giving them respect and dignity. When asked what it means to be a direct support professional, Johnny elegantly responded:

A simple answer comes to mind; to provide direct support for others in such a way that reflects how you would want your most loved one to be supported. It means to treat each individual with the respect and dignity they deserve, and work with patience to provide them with every possible opportunity to live the very best quality of life they can.

Thank you, Johnny for your commitment and dedication to the individuals you support and the passionate care you provide. We appreciate you as a direct support professional, and as a valued member of the community. Your service and care inspire us all.

Your Consumer Direct Care Network