REGION: 3 – Capital District
DSP: Kamala Looknauth
Position: Direct Support Assistant
Years of Service: 11
Kamala Looknauth’s work ethic and positive attitude was only one of the many reasons she was chosen as a Direct Support Professional of the Year by the Capital District DDSOO.
“Kamala’s attendance and her person-centered support to the people she assists at the home and Day Hab is worthy of commendation,” says Olawale Desalu, Rehabilitation Assistant II. “She is very reliable and you can expect her to be on time for shifts and meetings. She puts in extra effort to ensuring the people in her care are happy. Kamala would make cakes, wrap up gift items and sing with them in celebrating their birthdays.”
“Kamala supports the people living in a safe and healthy environment,” Desalu adds. “She demonstrates and assists in cleaning bedrooms and the home. She performs routine housekeeping duties, such as vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms and helps with grocery shopping and keeping track of household supplies.”
Kamala is described as demonstrating great respect for all people in her care, helping them sort through their choices. She works well both independently and as a team player and understands that the team needs everyone to succeed. Kamala is described as a hard worker and carries herself in a kind and respectful manner.
“She always represented herself with levelheadedness and grace,” Desalu says. “Kamala maintains a professional attitude in difficult circumstances. She worked tirelessly during the COVID-19 pandemic and is flexible, always available to help with a staffing shortage.”
Kamala promotes active community participation for the people she supports and she promotes this by taking people to the State Fair, Lake George, Grafton Lake and to other activities in the area. She accompanies people to places like day program, on health-related visits and helps people to meet with their family members.
“Kamala acts as a positive role model, teaching and assisting the people in her care as needed in dressing, clothing selection, shopping for clothing and laundering,” adds Desalu. “She teaches them money management and supports their habilitation goals.”
Supervisor Douglas Brown, Developmental Assistant I says, “Kamala is well-liked by the people who live in the home and those at the day hab, and she is always going above and beyond in her duties at work. She is a reliable employee who enjoys the work that she does. Kamala is well-deserving of this recognition.”