We Must Do More to Help Direct Support Professionals

“For years, direct support professionals (DSPs) have been under-compensated and devalued despite their essential contributions to our community through local organizations like Schenectady ARC. This has become all the more clear during the pandemic when New York’s shortage of DSPs reached alarming heights, with 1 in 4 DSP positions in the state going unfilled. DSPs are heroes in the disability community, and their job is essential to helping individuals with disabilities live independent and fulfilling lives. Wage increases and funding for BOCES, SUNY and CUNY initiatives that can help train and retain direct support professionals are long overdue. Funding to support these compassionate workers who’ve dedicated years of their lives to helping others must be a priority in this year’s state budget.”