Congratulations, Sonya!

Here is an article regarding one of our staff!


Celebrate Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Recognition Week

DSPs Making a Difference: Sonya Mowles



As part of DSP Recognition Week, FADSP is pleased to recognize direct support professionals (DSPs) who are making a meaningful difference in the lives of the people they serve.  Sonya Mowles is one of those DSPs.

Sonya Mowles has been a Central Florida Communities (Washington Square) employee for 24 years and currently serves as a Direct Support Professional Supervisor.  She began her employment in 1990 as a Direct Support Professional as her first job.


After she began caring for the individuals of Washington Square her position became much more than just a job to her.  Sonya showed immediate interest in ways to increase each resident’s personal growth and potential by providing input for their annual assessments, suggesting possible new training programs and goals, and advocating issues important for meeting each individual’s needs and preferences.  She quickly recognized the unique abilities that each resident possessed and continually sought to expand the possibilities for the individuals who we serve.  Sonya’s excellent performance as a DSP was noticed by her supervisors and she was selected to become a trainer for other new DSPs and to fill in as Acting Duty Administrator in the absence of the Residential Manager.

In 1996, an opportunity to apply for the position of Direct Support Professional Supervisor (DSPS) was presented and Sonya was an ideal candidate.  Since that time, Sonya has been a DSPS for day shift and her dedication continues to be evident to all who witness her interactions with the residents and staff.  She never hesitates to go above and beyond to ensure each and every individual’s needs are met and they are treated with respect and equality in all areas of their life.  Despite having a busy family life outside of Washington Square, Sonya can frequently be found staying after her shift to help out wherever she is needed.  She often comes in on her days off to help ensure the residents look their best for various facility functions and attends community inclusion outings to help ensure person-centered supports are met.  Annually, Sonya volunteers to attend Camp with the residents because she truly enjoys seeing their excitement when they participate in swimming and other outdoor activities that are offered.  She serves on CFC’s Morale Committee and participates in every themed “spirit day” with a positive disposition that is evident to everyone around her.  During her 24 years at Washington Square, Sonya has been nominated by the staff and residents as Employee of the Quarter on numerous occasions and has twice been awarded this recognition.  She is a positive role model for her staff and has received numerous memos of appreciation from various departments for her willingness to be a team player and go above and beyond.

Sonya is known for her kind, patient, and professional demeanor and she continues to be respected and well loved by the residents, families/guardians, and her co-workers.  Her on-going commitment and dedication truly makes a difference in the lives of the individuals who reside at Washington Square.

Thank you Sonya for your continued service to the individuals served at Central Florida Communities!

Florida ARF

2475 Apalachee Parkway Suite 205
Tallahassee, FL  32301

By |2016-11-03T10:15:10+00:00September 17th, 2014|Categories: Kristen Thompson's Posts|Tags: , |Comments Off on Congratulations, Sonya!

It’s that time of year again!


July 31, 2014

Mr. Cardin (for himself, Ms. Collins, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Brown, Mr.
Casey, Mr. Franken, Mr. Grassley, Mr. King, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Manchin,
Mr. Markey, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Portman, Mr. Rockefeller, and Ms. Warren)
submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to



Designating the week beginning September 7, 2014, as “National Direct
Support Professionals Recognition Week”.

Whereas direct care workers, personal assistants, personal attendants, in-home
support workers, and paraprofessionals (referred to in this preamble as
“direct support professionals”) are the primary providers of publicly-
funded long-term support and services for millions of individuals with
Whereas direct support professionals must build a close, respectful, and trusted
relationship with individuals with disabilities;
Whereas direct support professionals assist individuals with disabilities with
intimate personal care assistance on a daily basis;
Whereas direct support professionals provide a broad range of individualized
support, including–

(1) preparation of meals;

(2) helping with medications;

(3) assisting with bathing and dressing;

(4) assisting individuals with physical disabilities with access to
their environment;

(5) providing transportation to school, work, religious, and
recreational activities; and

(6) helping with general aspects of daily living, such as financial
matters, medical appointments, and personal interests;

Whereas direct support professionals provide essential support to help keep
individuals with disabilities connected to family, friends, and
Whereas direct support professionals support individuals with disabilities in
making choices that lead to meaningful, productive lives;
Whereas direct support professionals are the key to helping individuals with
disabilities to live successfully in the community, and to avoid more
costly institutional care;
Whereas the participation of direct support professionals in medical care
planning is critical to the successful transition from medical events to
post-acute care and long-term support and services;
Whereas the majority of direct support professionals are the primary financial
providers for their families and often work multiple jobs to make ends
Whereas direct support professionals are a critical element in supporting
individuals who are receiving health care services for severe chronic
health conditions and individuals with with functional limitations;
Whereas while direct support professionals work and pay taxes, many direct
support professionals earn poverty-level wages and are therefore
eligible for the same Federal and State public assistance programs on
which individuals with disabilities served by direct support
professionals must also depend;
Whereas Federal and State policies assert the right of certain individuals with
a disability to live in a residential setting in the community, or an
institutional setting of their choice, and the Supreme Court of the
United States, in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999), confirmed that
right for certain individuals;
Whereas, as of 2014, the majority of direct support professionals are employed
in home and community-based settings and this majority is projected to
increase over the next decade;
Whereas there is a documented and increasing critical shortage of direct support
professionals throughout the United States; and
Whereas many direct support professionals are forced to leave their jobs due to
inadequate wages and benefits and limited opportunities for advancement,
creating demonstrated high turnover and vacancy rates, which adversely
affect the quality of support and the safety and health of individuals
with disabilities: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate–
(1) designates the week beginning September 7, 2014, as
“National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week”;
(2) recognizes the dedication of direct support
professionals and the vital role direct support professionals
have in enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities of
all ages;
(3) appreciates the contribution of direct support
professionals in supporting individuals with disabilities and
their families in the United States;
(4) identifies direct support professionals as integral to
long-term support and services for individuals with
disabilities; and
(5) finds that the successful implementation of the public
policies affecting individuals with disabilities in the United
States depends on the dedication of direct support

By |2016-11-03T10:15:11+00:00August 29th, 2014|Categories: Kristen Thompson's Posts|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on It’s that time of year again!

Blahg, blahg, blahg

Hi gang,

Well, I sure missed seeing everyone at the National Conference and hope you all had the best time ever!  And congrats to the new Certified Trainers, maybe with so many CTs my lack of blogging will go unnoticed…shhhh, don’t tell. ;)

Our annual survey from the state is underway at our three ICFs and this is the third year of survey and Therap!  First of all, the surveyors love the user friendliness of Therap, as do we all.  But now that we finally have more on Therap than not, we only rolled in one cart of paper documentation for them, which is a big improvement – trust me.

I think my favorite part of the process this year was the level of comfort the managers and supervisors now have with Therap.  In years past, they looked to me to find most everything in Therap, but not so much, anymore.  Although, I did get a great opportunity to use the T-Log Reader report – found in the agency report library – and it was nearly perfect (I wish that we could search for the T-Log by Form ID instead of date.)  Now we need an SComm Reader report, to show when/who read the SComm!  Unless you are the sender of the SComm, you can’t see who read it, and let’s say the sender of the SComm is out of state on vacation when survey comes…how do you prove that the information in the T-Log was read by the staff person???  Well, the answer is tons of activity tracking searches…but an SComm Reader report would be better!

Hope everyone is staying safe and warm this winter season amidst the various Snowmaggedons occurring across the country!  Florida had that one day that was kind of cold…

Stay classy, CTs!



By |2016-11-03T10:15:18+00:00February 11th, 2014|Categories: Kristen Thompson's Posts|Tags: , |Comments Off on Blahg, blahg, blahg

Happy DSP Week!


S. RES. 208


31, 2013

(for himself, Ms. COLLINS, Ms. WARREN, Mr. GRASSLEY, Mr. BROWN, Mr. ROCKEFELLER, and Mr. MURPHY) submitted the following resolution; which was
considered and agreed to


Designating the week beginning September 8, 2013,

‘‘National Direct Support Professionals Recognition

the Senate—

recognizes the dedication and vital role of direct support professionals in enhancing the lives of individuals of all ages with disabilities; appreciates the contribution of direct support professionals in supporting the needs that are beyond the capacities of millions of families in the United States; commends direct support professionals as integral in supporting the long-term support and services system of the United States; and finds that the successful implementation of the public policies of the United States depends on the dedication of direct support professionals.

By |2013-09-10T15:14:39+00:00September 10th, 2013|Categories: Kristen Thompson's Posts|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Happy DSP Week!

Connecticut here I come!

Hello all!

I am super excited to attend another Regional Therap conference this month in Connecticut!  No matter how long I use Therap or how many conferences and user groups that I go to, I ALWAYS learn something new when I hang out with other Therapites!  (And that’s because Therap users are smarter than everyone else!)

The New Mexico conference earlier this year, really opened my eyes about how a provider might react to a mandatory system, I know how I would react!  When ever I am told that I HAVE to do something, my immediate response is “no way!”  I know, you’re shocked, I seem like such a mild mannered and passive individual and you would never figure me for an outspoken rebel, but it’s true.  As I spoke with the New Mexico providers I started to realize that if I had been mandated to use Therap I probably would not love it as much as I do.  I feel fortunate that I have worked for companies that have acquired Therap because it is a desirable tool that enhances communication, empowers Direct Support Professionals and increases the quality of life for the people we serve.  Who knows, if I was mandated to use Therap I might be leading the charge against Therap instead of for Therap.  But luckily, we all know which side I am really on!!!  YAY THERAP!!!!

We in Florida have been waiting on the edge of our seats for months (and months and months and months) for the announcement that Florida will adopt Therap statewide.  And now I know what to expect.  All those other rebels out there that will want to reject any mandatory anything, will have to listen to me when I tell them to put down the torches and accept this change.  Therap is good for individuals, staff, providers and states.  It’s like mandatory chocolate.


So, now on to Connecticut, the birthplace of Therap, a pilgrimage to the homeland!  I have no idea what I will learn when I am there, but I have no doubt that it will be ground breaking, earth shaking and altogether awe inspiring.  So, bring it on CT!!!!


By |2016-11-03T10:15:21+00:00September 6th, 2013|Categories: Kristen Thompson's Posts|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Connecticut here I come!

ISP Program without Tasks?

Hello everyone!

As I creep ever so slowly into the world of billing (and I mean slow, like a turtle on Valium slow) I am beginning to set up the ISP programs to correspond with all the service authorizations.  I am stuck on the tasks and how they should be scored.

Would it be contradictory to have a score of ‘not completed’ on a billable program and then bill?

Then I realized that you don’t have to use tasks in the ISP program.  I can simply require time in/time out and comments and get all the info I need.  Should I proceed with this plan?

How do you write billable ISP programs?


Thx – K


By |2013-07-12T14:36:19+00:00July 12th, 2013|Categories: Kristen Thompson's Posts|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on ISP Program without Tasks?

Washington My Home!

Picture of Kristen Thompson in Washington State

Wow, what a treat it was to spend some time with the great folks of Washington State (and a few exceptional Oregonians, as well). I met some really smart and dedicated folks, who inspired me to remember my roots.  For the most part, I have really enjoyed my transition to Florida, but a week like last week can really bring the homesickness bug on strong. Of course, there was no rain, which makes it a lot easier to remember only the good times…and not the time when the evening news reported that Seattle had beat the bible with more than forty days and nights of rain.

I was happy to see that Seattle has added some new attractions, so I could play tourist in my home state.  First of all, the grand and beautiful Holiday Inn Express in the outskirts of Sumner.  Wow.

Picture of Ferris Wheel in downtown Seattle on the waterfront

Second, the awesome Ferris Wheel in downtown Seattle on the waterfront.  What a beautiful view, not only of the water and the mountains, but also a unique look back at the city skyline.  If you get a chance to hop on this new attraction, take it…and take a camera!

Finally, I was able to ride the new (or at least ‘new-to-me’) gondola at Crystal Mountain which takes you to the summit where you can dine in style at the new restaurant there.  However, you can only dine in style because they have removed the snack bar and brown bag lunch options from the summit…so needless to say, I didn’t eat at the summit.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be going skiing on my trip back home in May, and I’m happy that my ski bum brother was there to help outfit me with the necessary equipment!  It was 72 degrees, so I didn’t need more than the basics!  It wasn’t the best snow, but far better than the skiing that you find in Florida.  (PS – there is no skiing in Florida).

So, a huge thank you to Therap for inviting me and an even bigger thanks to my boss who let me go!  Stay classy, Washington!


By |2013-05-22T01:34:56+00:00May 22nd, 2013|Categories: Kristen Thompson's Posts|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on Washington My Home!

R.I.P. Last Login Report?

I think it may be gone for good…at least it doesn’t seem to be coming back anytime soon.  I guess it is time for me to stop trying to bargain my way out of this loss and accept it…the last login report is gone!  So, I need your help!  How can I tell which of the 500 employees is not logging in?  We are just a few months in to our second implementation and I just found a staff that has not logged in since the training session.  When I had the last log in, I would run it routinely and this would help me catch folks who were not getting into Therap.  But, now I am at a loss as to how to do this effectively.  What are you guys doing to ensure that staff are accessing Therap?

By |2013-03-21T15:34:02+00:00March 21st, 2013|Categories: Kristen Thompson's Posts|Tags: |3 Comments

Employee Recognition!

Picture of Recognized Employees with Service Awards

THANK YOU! It can never be said enough. The amazing people who work so hard to make a difference in the lives of the people we support can never be shown enough appreciation. Although, we certainly try our best! Today, we recognized our staff with service awards for length of service and outstanding service. Several staff were recognized for 5, 10, 15 and 20 years of service. And two exceptionally amazing folks were recognized for dedicating 30 YEARS to the work we do here. AMAZING! Three staff even won a week long stay at the beach! A great prize for some great staff. Thanks again to all of you and the hard work you do. I know it is just a word, but THANKS!

Picture of Recognized Employees giving Speech

By |2013-03-01T20:37:30+00:00March 1st, 2013|Categories: Kristen Thompson's Posts|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Employee Recognition!
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