DSP's Making a Difference: Harrette Thompson
As part of DSP Recognition Week, Florida ARF and FADSP are pleased to recognize direct support professionals (DSPs) who are making a meaningful difference in the lives of the people they serve. Harrette Thompson is one of those DSPs.
Harrette Thompson has been a direct care professional for Inspire of Central Florida for 32 years. She is a trusted member and proven leader among the staff. Harrette initially assumed an informal leadership role and last year was recognized for her dedication with a promotion to Team Leader. Her work ethic is above reproach. She leads by example, always the first one to roll up her sleeves and manage a situation. Harrette would never allow a staff member to do something she was not willing to do herself, regardless of the situation. She has been instrumental in the transformation of Inspire’s facility to one which is welcoming and inclusive.
Most importantly, Harrette is passionate about her responsibilities and the people we are privileged to serve. She treats every person with respect and dignity, even when it may not be reciprocated. Harrette took the initiative to reorganize the assigned areas of the Contract Fulfillment Specialists and integrated the more severely handicapped Specialists into a more diverse group of their peers. Harrette genuinely cares about our Contract Fulfillment Specialists and their families, as if they were members of her own family. She laughs when they find humor in a situation, feels joy when they share their happiness, cries with them when they are saddened and rejoices with them when they experience success. Harrette is quick to praise someone for a job well done and coaches gently when corrective action is needed.
Harrette led the way on enhancing Inspire’s Life Skills classes. She developed classes in laundry, housekeeping, cooking, American Sign Language, money management, and art for our Specialists. She makes the classes informative and fun. Inspire has received wonderful feedback from the Specialists and their caregivers.
Harrette took the initiative to develop booklets for our direct care staff on understanding the individual’s "Rights." The booklets provide an additional way of communicating rights to the individuals and offer an alternative method of communicating the message to ensure our individuals served clearly understand their rights and are free from exploitation.
Harrette works closely with all of Inspire’s 92 Contract Fulfillment Specialists and caters to their personal needs and goals. She is sensitive to their physical and emotional needs, taking this under consideration when working with the Specialists. Harrette is a person of great integrity and accepts responsibility for her actions and for those she supervises. Her professional reputation is very important to her and it shows in her work. She is a very determined person and will overcome any obstacle between her and the accomplishment of the mission of care. Harrette treats everyone fairly and with respect. She nurtures the relationships and is respected in return. When counseling is needed, she does so gently and in a coaching fashion, eliciting the optimum results. Harrette can always be counted upon to provide the highest level of services, compassion, and caring to our Contract Fulfillment Specialists.
Harrette Thompson is a dedicated caregiver and tremendous advocate for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Thank you, Harrette, for your continued service to the individuals served at Inspire of Central Florida!