Employee Spotlight: John Lacharite

Melissa (no longer staff) John Lacharite award.jpg

John is described by his peers and supervisors alike as the “perfect Direct Support Professional.” John has over 30 years’ experience as a DSP and serves as a mentor for everyone around him.

John’s roots with Independence Association date to 1987, when he worked here for six years. John rejoined us in November 2014. He views his DSP position as a career, and not a job. In fact, John was offered career advancement opportunities, but has declined them, preferring to remain in the position he loves the most: caring for people.

What makes John so effective as a DSP is that he sees potential where others may not. John’s presence at our Spring Street residence has had a profound impact on the individuals he currently supports. His caring and gentle manner played a significant role in reducing the challenging behaviors that precluded one resident from accessing their community, and encouraged another resident to make use of his entire home, and not stay just in the bedroom all day.

John’s patience and attention to detail have made him a subject matter expert as it relates to OT and communications programs, as well as toileting goals. John’s arduous work with one resident’s toileting goals have been so successful that the resident now can go out into the community daily; in fact, that individual has had less than two incidents of incontinence in a one-year period.

John advocates for the people he supports as well as for his industry peers. John represented all DSPs in Maine when he testified before the Maine State Health and Human Services committee about the shameful rates paid to support individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism. John represents Independence Association well through his attendance at the three-person review committees; and his feedback is critical to the oversight and success of the behavior programs he oversees.

John Lacharite is a credit to himself, the people he supports and Independence Association. John sees abilities where others see disabilities. This philosophy is what guides him daily as he works to ensure his residents lead full and inclusive lives. John exemplifies the mission of Independence Association.