• Fri. Aug 5th, 2022

Disability advocates call on government to address shortage of direct support staff

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ALBANY, NY (NEWS10) – Disability advocates say there is a serious shortage of direct support staff. And, they say it impacts service and level of care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

According to Disability advocates in New York, Direct Support Staff, or DSP, provide care to approximately 140,000 New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

But, the industry is experiencing a labor shortage.

“Our goal today is to raise awareness of the need for our heroes in the direct support workforce to be able to earn a living wage with annual cost of living adjustments commensurate with inflation,” he said. said Gerald Dohrenwend, CEO of Hudson Valley Wraparound Services.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle today joined a virtual rally calling for immediate action.

Republican Senator Mike Martucci and Democratic Senator John Mannion called on the state to allocate $ 550 million in the state budget to address the issue.

“I know this is not a partisan issue. This is not a Democratic or Republican question. This is a human problem, and it is about what is done right, ”said NYS Senator Mike Martucci.

Democratic Senator James Skoufis notes that the current job market is an “employee market” and not an “employer market” and that COVID has caused some to reconsider their profession.

In some cases, DSPs can earn the minimum wage.

“It is painful emotionally, physically, mentally, and it is high time that the compensation reflected how difficult this job is for DSPs,” NYS Senator James Skoufis.

A Senate hearing on the DSP workforce issue was held last month.

wednesday, the Assembly will hold a hearing to review the availability of employment opportunities for people with disabilities.