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For nearly 2 years, Lourdi Jean-Noel has served as a Direct Support Professional at HeartShare’s Sharkey Residence for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Lourdi spend time getting to know each of the individuals in the house. Hesitant and new to the field, Lourdi persevered to be positive and hands-on. “I challenged myself and how I initially judged people with disabilities,” shared Lourdi. “Bottom line, I wanted to treat them the way I want to be treated.”
To achieve this, Lourdi especially bonded with Dorothy, who is non-verbal. Lourdi was determined to find ways to communicate. By observing different gestures and body language, Lourdi realized what Dorothy wanted and needed.
“Now that I know her so well, I feel that it is my responsibility to accurately voice her opinions,” said Lourdi. Lourdi, for example, knows that Dorothy doesn’t like to be rushed. No matter how busy she is, Lourdi takes the time to bathe Dorothy with integrity, which includes carefully moving her from her wheelchair to the shower bed. Lourdi always goes the extra step to pamper Dorothy and she enjoys it.
Also, Lourdi noticed that she likes quiet, peaceful environments, especially when they go for walks out in the community. When one of the other individuals in the house starts singing, Lourdi encourages him to lower his volume so that Dorothy is comfortable.
For helping Dorothy be heard, Lourdi Jean-Noel is a 2016 Everyday Hero.
Thank you for your work, Lourdi!