Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) support individuals with intellectual disability or autism in all aspects of their lives—from daily living tasks to their health to their social lives. As Renzo’s mother, Cheryl, says, “Every single need is dependent on the direct support professional.”
Yet because Pennsylvania’s rates haven’t increased in 10 years and wages have flat-lined, DSPs often struggle to meet their own needs. Sometimes they are forced to choose between a job they love and being able to pay the bills.
Keystone Human Services has joined with PAR (Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability) and other PA human services organizations in advocating for a 2017-2018 Pennsylvania budget that invests in intellectual disability and autism services. The proposed PA budget bill, HB 218, includes increased funding for intellectual disability and autism services, which is critical to the people we serve and the people who support them.
If the intellectual disability and autism portion of the proposed PA budget bill remains intact, it will increase our ability to address direct support professional compensation and continue to improve the services we provide to the people we support.
Watch PAR’s video, “Fix the DSP Crisis,” above and visit FixTheDSPCrisis.com to learn what you can do to advocate for individuals with disabilities and the people who support them.