Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Sonia Ashe

REGION: 4 – Taconic

Position: Direct Support Assistant

Years of Service: 30


Sonia Ashe truly considers it a privilege to work with people with developmental disabilities. She says she believes in their potential and strives to assist them to reach their highest level of independence. To Sonia, the most rewarding part of being a direct support professional is having been given the opportunity to assist in providing a quality life to the people she serves. Sonia enjoys watching them respond with joy, see the smiles on their faces, hear their words of endearment, feel the excitement and watch the progress in whatever they are working on. “I love to see them happy and that they feel like they make a difference in the world,” she says.


Sonia is presently working in the pilot Community Habilitation program. She has been with this program since it started, approximately two years. Prior to this, Sonia worked as a “Pathway to Employment” staff.

Sandra Kain, Developmental Disabilities Program Specialist I , and Sonia’s supervisor says Sonia has consistently demonstrated above average dedication to the job she holds. “She comes to work every day, happy to work. She truly believes in and implements the agency’s mission statement. Her goal each day is to support each person and their family with promoting choice, individualization and inclusion.

 “Her compassion for each person she encounters is amazing. She cares about people; their successes and their failures,” Kain continues. “She always wants them to know and feel that they are a unique person and are not defined by their disability.

When the Community Habilitation was started and the meet and greets were done, Sonia was the one the person everyone wanted for their staff. While she could not take everyone, she did not hesitate to take on those with the most challenges.

“Sonia is very conscientious, providing community activities and events that are of each person’s choice,” Kain says. “She has assisted people in choosing furniture for their bedroom, clothing, books, food, movies to attend, etc. It is always their choice…She has taken many people to visit family and friends. A person’s contact with family is of utmost importance to Sonia and she will always ensure he or she gets there.”

 “I have found Sonia Asch to consistently work far above the average pace,” Kain concludes. “Her dedication and ability to ensure OPWDD’s mission is a reality for the people she serves, is how she lives each day here. It is embedded in her. Everything she does – her interactions, planning, paperwork, trainings – is done to the highest standard.”