In honor of Direct Support Professional Recognition Week (September 10-16, 2023), we are excited to take this opportunity to recognize DSP’s from our Residential and Community Day Services programs – the heart and soul of supports for people with disabilities.

Patricia McKinnie is being featured for her “teamwork” in serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Learn more about Patricia in this short interview:

How long have you been working with Ada S. McKinley?
“I’ve been working at Ada S. McKinley since 1994.”

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
“The most rewarding part of working with the people we serve is knowing I’m making a difference in their lives. I can see the positive impact when teaching independent living skills and helping them with the everyday challenges of life.”

What makes you proud to work with Ada S. McKinley?
“I’m proud to say, over the years I’ve enjoy working with and watching the people we serve develop personal growth/independence, gaining self sufficiency and developing their communication skills. Not only have I enjoyed teaching them but I’ve learned from them to be patient. I’ve developed tolerance and I learned to be more empathetic to others, not only at work but outside in the community.”

What is something that you’ve learned while working as a DSP?
“Patience, remaining calm and in control and embrace whatever challenges or situation comes my way.”

What is one piece of advice would you give to a person who is new to the field?
“Have patience and see each person served as a separate individual. You also have to know this is the job for you. People can be unpredictable and you have to be flexible in any situation. If you’re the kind of person who gets easily overwhelmed this is not the job for you.”

What is one fun fact about yourself?
“I love cats.”