Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Neil Clary

REGION: 2 – Central New York
Neil Clary

Position: Developmental Assistant 2

Years of Service: 10


Neil says, “The most rewarding part of being a DSP is helping the individuals get an increased sense of independence, no matter how small it may seem to us. We had an individual who was able to get a key to his house, and the excitement and pride he had showing it off to everyone was amazing to see. Simple things we take for granted can be such an important show of independence for the individuals we serve.

“I also have the honor of being a part of the agency’s DSA committee, which serves to improve the perception of DSAs inside and outside of the agency; to give fellow DSAs a voice; a more open line of communication with Administration; to provide recognition to DSAs for a job well-done; and to improve morale within the agency,” Neil continues. “Being a part of a group that strives to foster positivity in a field that can have such challenging moments is a responsibility I take very seriously, and I am honored to do so. Thanks so much to agency Administration for being so supportive and really recognizing the value in employee recognition.”


David Mattoon, Developmental Assistant 3, says Neil fosters, and is a great example of, OPWDD’s recently adopted Code of Ethics.

“Neil treats everyone with dignity and respect and empowers each individual to strive to reach their full potential,” he says.

Neil’s soft-spoken manner encourages those around him to listen. Mattoon says Neil empowers everyone and models the high expectations he sets forth.

Each year, Neil coordinates a camping trip and encourages all to participate with the trip as they are able. Also, to foster relationships, Neil maintains and promotes great communication between the individuals and their families.

The home he supervises has a genuine “home-like feeling,” Mattoon says. The bedrooms express each person’s individual interests. An annual vegetable garden is a house project in which all participate and share in the fruits of their labor.

Karen Patterson, Developmental Assistant 3, says Neil has been a true asset to her and the team she supervises, of which Neil is a part. 

“He has transformed the home into a pleasant, smooth-running place, which six people call ‘home’. He is always the first one to offer his support and mentoring to other new supervisors and assist on a project, committee or task,” Patterson says. “He is well organized, knowledgeable, willing to learn, take on new tasks and has a wonderful personality. I am extremely proud to have the opportunity to work with and beside Neil over the past 1½ years.”

Patterson says she joined Neil’s team in November 2015 with a new promotional title.  She says Neil has made her transition much easier with his support and flexibility.

“Neil has been a true asset to me,” Patterson adds. “I truly appreciate what he does on a daily basis and he deserves the acknowledgement and recognition from our agency. He embodies what our agency defines as a ‘person-centered support professional’.”