AHRC Nassau joined nearly 1,000 #bFair2DirectCare advocates in Albany to rally for an increased wage for direct support professionals (DSPs) on March 25. Our combined efforts, and over a year of ongoing advocacy, resulted in a New York State budget allocation of $80 million or a total 4% increase with 2% distributions in January 2020 and April 2020.
This budget did not include a cost-of-living increase, and left some advocates disappointed.
However, advocates will continue to call out for increases until wages match the important work DSPs undertake, everyday – ensuring more than 120,000 people with developmental disabilities lead safe and fulfilling lives.
The advocacy event was also an opportunity to highlight the strength and unity of the developmental disabilities community’s voice throughout New York State.
Self-advocate, SANYS president and AHRC receptionist, Coleen Mackin, spoke at this milestone rally to a packed room. For her, it was an opportunity to connect on an issue impacting our community every day.
“I took pride and honor in speaking up for people who are not able to speak up for themselves and the ones who could not be there,” said Coleen. “At the rally, I shared how staff is very important for all in our community. We will keep advocating!”