February 25, 2022

Advocate for Higher DSP Wages

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Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) enable people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) to live full, prosperous lives. They work in homes, in schools, and in the community as facilitators, mentors, and advocates who dedicate their time and talent to supporting individuals with disabilities. They often carry out healthcare tasks overseen by nurses and dietitians, administering medication, developing meal plans, assisting with transportation and mobility, while always being respectful of a person’s dignity and privacy.

It takes a lot to be a DSP. Despite the high demands of the job, DSPs currently earn only slightly more than the minimum wage. This low pay is forcing these essential workers to look for other jobs so they can afford food, shelter, and basic life necessities. As a result, currently 25% of these jobs are vacant, and people with IDD are left without the support they need. Without immediate action, the DSP workforce crisis will continue to force service reductions and program closures throughout the state, leaving individuals with IDD without their professional support assistance.

A one-time bonus will, at best, only maintain the unacceptable status quo. One-time funding does not raise the base pay above minimum wage and so will not significantly help recruitment.

Governor Hochul and legislators must permanently increase DSP wages.

Tell Governor Hochul and your legislators to “Raise Their Wages Now” for DSPs in the FY 2022-23 Executive Budget:

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