DSP’s Making a Difference: Maedean Payne

Florida ARF & FADSP Celebrate Direct Support Professionals (DSP) Recognition Week

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. Maedean Payne is one of those DSPs.

Maedean Payne has been a Direct Support Professional at ARC Broward since 2002. Each year ARC Broward has watched her grow and adapt to the needs of the people she serves. Maedean spent years serving participants in the Intensive Behavioral Supports program and during this time she was able to show an unmeasured support of compassion, care, and professionalism. She was a significant part of teaching the participants skills that their families and caregivers never imagined their loved one could achieve, things like eating independently, participating in large group activities, and even speaking. Maedean was determined to focus on each participants’ skills and abilities rather than their barriers. In doing this she saw reduction in maladaptive behaviors in the classroom and watched the participants become more social, caring, and joyful.

Seven years ago, Maedean used this same drive and dedication and joined ARC Broward’s initiative to provide high level service and quality care to the growing older adult population as ARC Broward opened their Senior Day Program. From the very beginning of the program, Maedean had a vision for how she wanted to serve and support participants as they aged. She combined this vision with the overall goals of the program and the needs of the participants and helped ARC Broward launch a program like none in the area. She and the senior Program have had many tours and visitors that have been astonished by the quality care that is provided in the program and the effort that is needed to meet the participants’ needs in regard to their changing skills as they age.

She has attended various trainings and seminars in an effort to continue to expand her knowledge on best practices for the aging population of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Maedean always shares the knowledge from these trainings with her coworkers. She uses her experiences and knowledge to help encourage the team of DSP’s that serve the senior participants and is continually striving for the program to adapt to their needs and provide them necessary supports and opportunities. She has the ability to motivate and lead her peers and encourages them to be the best versions of themselves, both personally and professionally, thus creating a spirit of teamwork and providing a close knit community for the participants.

Thank you Maedean for your continued service to the individuals served at ARC Broward!