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Staff Story: Shannon

Shannon Sebring has been a Protective Services Representative (PSR) with APSI for nearly a decade. But she’s been advocating for her sister, Shelly, since they were kids; now Shannon is Shelly’s independent provider. 


“Honestly, I’ve been advocating for Shelly since we would crawl on the bus together... It’s always been that way,” Shannon says. 


Shannon’s experience with Shelly inspired her to help others, so she went to college to become a teacher, unaware of social work at the time. While in school Shannon was told about APSI by Shelly’s Service and Support Administrator (SSA) at the local county board of developmental disabilities and she’s been here ever since. 


Left to right: Shelly, Shannon and Shirella, APSI's Intake & Services Coordinator

“When I heard about APSI it was like ‘No, this couldn’t be’,” Shannon says. “It was a whole new challenge when I became a rep because Shelly's needs are completely different from everybody else's.” 


Shelly is an extremely outgoing, fun-loving and busy person. She is heavily involved with the Noble County board of DD, loves having dinner parties with friends and recently starred in her first local theatre production.  


Through Shelly’s busy schedule, Shannon learned about the opportunities available to people with developmental disabilities and uses this knowledge to find activities for the people she serves at APSI. 


“We live in one of the most rural counties in Ohio. And I can always find something to do. I mean, even if it's having a house party, you know, just to get together, even that,” Shannon says. 


In 2007 Shannon started as Shelly’s part-time independent provider with their mom serving as her primary provider. In 2021, Shannon took over as the primary provider when her mother was unfortunately diagnosed with ALS. 


Since the transition, the sisters focus on building up Shelly’s skills so she can be as independent as possible. Shelly lives across the street from Shannon in a house of her own with her dog that she cares for, giving him his insulin shots every morning and night. 


Shelly with her niece

But it’s not just Shannon and Shelly; the whole family is tight-knit; the eldest sibling, Sean, lives nearby and pitches in. The sisters also take trips to Shannon’s daughter’s college to watch her perform in plays. 

“That's probably one of her favorite things to do. Because she gets to see my daughter perform and I think that that's part of the reason why she wanted to go into the performing arts,” Shannon said. 


The sisters are currently looking forward to a trip to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Tennessee to enjoy shows and take in the sights. 


Shannon’s experience as a rep and a provider gives her a unique perspective in both roles. 


“I think having the knowledge of what providers deal with on a daily basis, that makes me, I think, more effective when I'm working with APSI as far as when I'm talking to providers,” Shannon says. “I think it plays off both ways... Because I get that experience and that helps me be a better provider and a better rep.” 


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