Skip to main content

Arc GLOW DSP wins state DSP award Joy Bookmiller’s passion is helping others.

By Press Release
Submitted photo of Joy Bookmiller (right) and Joe (left).

Press Release:

For the past 31 years, the Corfu resident has been working as a direct service professional (DSP) at Arc GLOW’s Day Habilitation Center in Elba. 

She helps each individual in her room with their daily person-centered goals. Bookmiller explores every chance to take individuals she supports out for community-based activities, and on nice weather days she maximizes every opportunity to help individuals to enjoy the extensive outdoor space at Elba Day Hab.

“When spending time at the site in Elba, Joy immediately stood out as one of the DSPs who truly took their role to support individuals seriously,” said Kelly Anstey, senior director of Day and Employment Services at Arc GLOW. 

“A coworker pointed out to me how Joy made every person feel as included in as many activities as possible how she always went the extra mile. I could see this,” Anstey continued. “She presented at once as very serious, but also compassionate and very passionate about serving people.”

It is little wonder then that Bookmiller has been selected as one of the four recipients of The Arc New York’s 2023 Thomas A. Maul Direct Support Professional Excellence Award. This is an annual award that recognizes a DSP who consistently demonstrates excellence, creativity, and commitment to providing support to people who have intellectual and other developmental disabilities.

Bookmiller works at Elba Day Habilitation, a program site certified to serve up to 100 individuals. Many of the individuals have relatively high support needs, including personal care, eating, navigating Elba and community sites, and extensive physical support needs.

“While some staff might have had difficultly in such a challenging daily environment, Joy was a dynamo of positive energy and care. She took everyone into her aura of love and activities, providing each individual a variety of different opportunities and experiences,” Anthony Lewandowski, retired Day Habilitation director shared in a letter of recommendation.

Sherri Raab, Day Habilitation director at Elba, said in her nomination Bookmiller has a strong connection to the individuals she works with. Raab gave the example is Bookmiller’s ability to use manual sign or specific signing for an individual who has become very comfortable with communicating with her. This individual has been learning more signing via working with Bookmiller and his speech pathologist and has expanded on his signing vocabulary.

“As she role models for other staff, her compassion and thoroughness shines through,” Raab said. “She
demonstrates that she loves what she does and that she wants that for her coworkers as well. Joy doesn’t just show by example, she also takes the extra time with new staff to really explain the importance of reading any necessary materials thoroughly, taking individuals’ personal goals into consideration and all around demonstrates an adherence to the core compentencies.” 

Bookmiller will be receiving the award Oct. 27 at the Crowne Plaza Desmond Hotel in Latham.

Submitted photo of Joy Bookmiller (right) and Joe (left).

Authentically Local