In 2004 a social worker was leading weekly empowerment rights and responsibilities workshops in the classroom for a group of students with disabilities.  Deidra was the teacher.  From Sheryl for her nomination of her DSP Ally and AAoM’s November DSP Ally of the Month Deidra Jacobs:

“Our friendship quickly grew and in 2007 when one of my direct support staff quit I asked Deidra if she was interested in filling in until I could find someone else. That was 11 years ago; I could have never imagine what an integral part of my life she would become.

Whenever I need Deidra for she is there! Whether she’s helping me with my daily grind of get ready for work, shopping or errands, giving me a helping hand with my service dog, assisting me at doctor’s appointments or helping me have a little fun in life, by going to concerts, seeing Hugh Jackman TWICE, college football games (Go Blue) or our yearly vacation to Bear Lake, with plenty of floating and daytime drinks. She is there!

When life gets tough and all I want to do is crawl under a rock, Deidra is there to nudge me out and remind me of everything I have accomplished and many more things to come. When the house I had been renting for over 8 years was going to be sold and I couldn’t find another place, Deidra was there. She opened her home to me and Zen my service dog for over 6 months until I found a place to live. During that time she spent countless hours scanning the internet and searching the Michigan Housing Locator site looking for Section 8 Housing that could accommodate my wheelchair and service dog. I would not have found this often unattainable housing without her help.

Although, Deidra has a full-time job as a high school special education teacher she’s still there. On occasion even taking a personal day to a sure that I have the support I need to get to a doctor’s appointment. 

I do what I can to make sure Deidra knows I appreciate everything she does for me.It would mean a lot if Deidra could be selected as DSP Ally award recipient. Sheryl (& Zen) Stumbaugh, MSW”

Please keep the nominations of your favorite DSP Ally to [email protected].

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