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Empowerment in Action: Self-Advocates and Supporters Demand Action for Disability Services Funding

Empowerment in Action: Self-Advocates and Supporters Demand Action for Disability Services Funding

Categories: Blog, Featured News, Self-Advocacy, Staff

AHRC Nassau supporters and self-advocates march for disability services fundingThe New York State budget is due April 1. Now is the time to let Gov. Hochul and state legislators know about the urgent funding needs of disability services.

With one click you can urge legislators to support:

A Direct Support Wage Enhancement (DSWE) based on (S4127-A/A5268-A)

A 3.2% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) that does not restrict how funds are to be allocated.

Take action today!

On Friday March 8, Self-advocates, Direct Support Professionals, and agency staff united with disability advocates from multiple Long Island agencies at the NYS Department of Human Rights office in Hauppauge.

Together they called for sustainable investments in care services to benefit direct support professionals.

This was just one of a growing number of demonstrations taking place across the state to raise awareness of the current staffing crisis affecting voluntary service providers.

After years of divestment in disability care services and high inflation, people with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their staff are dealing with the repercussions.

Statewide, agency staff are overwhelmed, overworked, and even making the difficult decision to leave the skilled care industry in favor of better pay elsewhere.

This cost is paid most heavily by the people who depend on support staff and the services they provide that preserve and increase their quality of life.

With the bipartisan support of assemblymembers Jodi Giglio, Steve Stern, and Doug Smith, advocates urged Governor Hochul to fully compensate direct support professionals with a 3.2% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) and Direct Support Wage Enhancement in the NYS budget.

The role of a DSP is invaluable to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, a reality demonstrated by words from self-advocates, “it’s all about inclusion and without the work of DSPs, we can’t get included into society.”

The members addressed the crowd acknowledging the crisis faced by direct cere providers and shared the podium with self-advocates and direct support staff.

You can also join the call to support our DSPs by making your voice heard and urging legislatures to take action on these key issues. Do so again and again, as we inch closer to the April deadline for the NYS executive budget.