POSITION: Support Specialist (paraprofessional)

RESPONSIBLE TO: Developmental Specialist

Paraprofessional Jobs


At least one year experience working with people with developmental disabilities or with people who have physical disabilities or medical conditions; valid driver's license from Massachusetts, Connecticut, or New York and ability to drive program vans; minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent required. Must be able to lift 50 pounds, push and/or pull more than 50 pounds, bend, stand for long periods of time.


During the operating hours of The Coleman Center, the person acts as a paraprofessional and will assist the Developmental Specials and the Director of The Coleman Center in all aspects of the individuals' programs. Following the directions of his/her supervisor, person will be responsible for the individuals' personal care, implementation of the individuals' Day Habilitation Service Plan through active treatment, and behavior management as directed. The person will work Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 3 PM regardless of holidays or weather conditions. At the beginning and end of each day, whenever the Day Habilitation Center is closed or in the case of illness requiring individuals to stay home, person will act as residential personnel.

Performs duties of paraprofessional in the Day Habilitation Program as an assistant to the Developmental Specialist when The Coleman Center is open.

Crisis Prevention and Intervention:

  • Follow behavior and treatment plans.
  • Accurately complete data collection sheets for all behavior and treatment plans.
  • Use approved crisis prevention strategies, restraints and physical intervention when necessary.

Medical and Environmental:

  • Report any change in demeanor or symptoms of illness to a Developmental Specialist, the Health Care Supervisor or designated RN
  • Know each client’s medical protocol or where to find the information immediately (for but not limited to: seizure control, thickening of liquids, use of VNS).
  • Assist clients with personal care and hygiene.
  • Use universal precautions when assisting clients with personal care, use infection control procedures for maintaining the cleanliness of surfaces and materials.

Equipment Use and Protocols:

  • Is completely familiar with and uses the appropriate lifting and transferring techniques.
  • Is completely familiar with all the orthopedic equipment for each client and uses it appropriately.
  • Is completely familiar with specialized equipment such as but not limited to: tilt tables, plinths, and portable lifts.

Rights of Clients Served:

  • Respect the confidentiality of all clients at the Berkshire Meadows.
  • Act as an advocate for each client at The Coleman Center
  • Know the responsibility of being a Mandated Reporter to prevent abuse, neglect or exploitation of clients and what procedure to use when a report is necessary.
  • Know where to find the number for Massachusetts Disabled Persons Protection Commission.
  • Uphold the rights and dignity of the clients at all times.

Emergency and Evacuation Procedures:

  • Respond to emergencies and critical situations according to the stated policies and procedures of Berkshire Meadows.
  • Know and carry out all evacuation procedures.
  • Respond to emergencies in a calm and efficient manner.

Other Support Activities:

  • Attends all in-service trainings and supervision meetings as scheduled.
  • Keep certifications in CPR/First Aid and CPI (or other non-violent restraint method required by Berkshire Meadows) up-to-date.
  • Maintain a current, valid driver’s license from New York, Connecticut or Massachusetts. Inform the Berkshire Meadows’ Human Resource Department if there are any changes to your license.
  • Maintain an attitude of cooperation and support for all Berkshire Meadows Staff.
  • Respond to the changing needs of Berkshire Meadows by assuming new functions appropriate to the position.
  • Complete any projects, duties or tasks delegated or assigned by the Developmental Specialists, Coleman Center Director, Day Services Director or Berkshire Meadows Program Director.
  • When necessary, work in an unsupervised environment with the clients.
  • Work one additional 8 hour shift per week if needed.
  • Follow the JRI Rules of Conduct.

Attendance at trainings, staff meetings, and other assigned responsibilities outside of my regular work schedule is required. I understand and agree that my schedule is not fixed and can be changed at any time. I understand and agree that I may be scheduled to work at any program of the JRI Berkshire Meadows.

This job description is intended to convey information essential to understanding the scope of the job and the general nature and level of work performed by job holders within this job. But, this job description is not intended to be an exhaustive list of qualifications, skills, efforts, duties, responsibilities or working conditions associated with the position.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. If you require an accommodation please speak with your supervisor.