We at Opengate treasure and respect our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and the service they provide to the individuals in their care. They are the lifeline to our individuals and play a crucial role in assisting them to reach their personal success.
The recent minimum wage controversy has led to DSPs leaving agencies like Opengate for other positions with better pay and less responsibility leaving a terrible gap in the ability of agencies to retain continuity of care.
DSPs form bonds of trust with those in their care, often becoming like family members. When a DSP leaves the individuals must again form a trusting relationship with a new DSP. Adapting to changes in staff is often frightening and frustrating for our individuals.
Advocates across New York are petitioning lawmakers to secure funding in the state budget to provide a living wage for DSPs and other critical direct care workers. Campaigns like BFair2DirectCare are a rallying point for thousands across the state who rely on this funding to continue offering quality services for individuals with disabilities.
What can you do?
Call and email your state Senator, Assembly member, and Governor Cuomo. Urge them to include funding for wage increases for Direct Support Professionals and those who work with people with developmental disabilities. Click here to find your Senator and Assembly Member.
If you are on social media, tag them in your posts and tweets to bring attention to this vital issue.
Let them know that DSPs deserve to be paid in accordance with the commitment and dedication they bring to the profession. Their services are undeniably valuable as core personnel in direct care of our consumers. The job is often strenuous and stressful, but also rewarding for those who are well trained and dedicated to their charges.
Information on BFair2DirectCare Rally in Albany, Tuesday, January 17, 2017: CLICK HERE to read and become involved.
Recap of Introduction Advocacy Workshop NYC Fair, January 10, 2017: CLICK HERE to better understand the necessity for increased family advocacy on behalf of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“….never has it been so bleak as it is now.”