Developmental Services of Nebraska (DSN) is our second of five Lincoln nonprofit finalists in the All Makes 100 Year, $100k Office Makeover Contest. DSN seeks to help children and adults with mental health needs and/or developmental disabilities gain skills, knowledge and experience to increasingly use and benefit from the resources and settings available to all citizens in the community. Answers below are courtesy of Michelle Johnson, DSN Lincoln Executive Director.
To vote for the Lincoln winner of the office makeover contest, click here!
Q: Why do you need an office makeover?
A: DSN is celebrating 25 years of providing services in Lincoln in October of 2018. We are a nonprofit organization doing our best to support people with developmental disabilities and mental health needs to become increasingly independent in our community! Since there is no real budget in our industry to spend on office remodels, we’d love the opportunity to help freshen up our current office and modernize our workplace!
Q: How do you devote ethical business practices to fulfilling your mission?
A: DSN has a couple “guiding principles” that we follow with the first being, every person has value! Here’s a few others: Every person must be treated with dignity and respect. Every person must be considered for participation in the program without regard to race, color, national origin, marital status, religion, creed, handicap, age, sex, or sexual orientation. Every person protected by the full weight of the U.S. Constitution and its Amendments. DSN maintains a service delivery system that is responsive and accountable to people with mental health needs and/or developmental disabilities and to the public. We facilitate the use of community resources and promote individual empowerment thereby reducing reliance on agency provided services and facilities.
Q: What are some positive examples of your influence on the community?
A: Developmental Services of Nebraska supports people with disabilities to be independent and living in their own homes. Many of the people we support, we also assist in developing their job skills and helping them obtain meaningful employment, making them contributing members of our community! We have a saying that goes: if an idea becomes an objective, DSN will make every effort to assist the person in reaching their dreams!
Q: Please demonstrate your leadership.
A: I have worked in the nonprofit human services field for over 20 years. I started at an entry level position and am now the Area Director of the Lincoln program overseeing 150+ employees and the services being provided to the people we support. I also hold a Masters Degree in Business Leadership and volunteer at the Arc of Lincoln.