Donnitta “Dee” Otte – Wisconsin Direct Support Professional of the Year

Donnitta “Dee” Otte is a direct support professional from Jefferson, Wisconsin, who works hard every day to make sure the people she supports achieve as many of their goals as they can.

For example, Dee worked with an individual who wanted to go to Disney World and swim. Dee knew how much this meant to him, as he talked about it every day. So, she went to work to make it happen, even though the individual had never been able to travel due to medical and physical needs.

Dee first had to advocate with the managed care organization to ensure the individual’s services would continue while outside the facility. Once she obtained the special authorization for the trip, Dee organized caregivers to cover her shifts and arranged the appropriate travel accommodations for the individual. Seven months later, they were on their way to Disney World!

While there, the individual met Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Thanks to the hotel’s wheelchair lift, he was able to get into the pool and, with the buoyancy of the water, was able to walk! Dee filmed this amazing feat and texted it to his mother back home. She cried at the sight of her son walking – something she had not seen him do in years. Dee was able to help the individual experience the trip of a lifetime!