News & Advocacy
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.
According to a recent survey conducted by New York Disability Advocates:
- 93% of providers saw a decrease in job applicants this past year
- Statewide vacancy rates increased 75% since pre-pandemic levels
- 25% of all DSP positions are currently vacant statewide
- 48% of providers were forced to close or reduce programs due to a lack of staff
- 39% of providers did not reopen programs due to staff shortages
New York State can begin to end the DSP workforce crisis by adopting the Assembly’s proposed 11% cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) and the provision of COLAs annually thereafter, as part of the FY2022-23 enacted budget. We recognize the DSP workforce emergency cannot be resolved in a single year. Therefore, we ask that these actions be considered the first step towards a multi-year plan to provide sufficient funding for DSPs to earn a living wage!
Statewide CCO Family and Member Advisory Collaborative
The Statewide CCO Family and Member Advisory Collaborative represents 110,000 individuals with IDD and their families across New York State. They are active and passionate advocates, many with loved ones with IDD. They speak in one unified voice for high-quality, inclusive and person-centered supports, and services for every person with IDD.
Through this tool, you can quickly and easily tell your elected officials to fund DSPs and permanently increase their base pay!