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Letter: Direct support professionals deserve an increase in salary

Direct support professionals deserve an increase in salary

We are writing this letter as supporters of the Statewide BFair2DirectCare, 300 Days to Better Pay Campaign. Our beautiful daughter Laura is 24 years old and has significant intellectual and developmental disabilities. Laura lives at home with us and brings joy to us every day. She depends on us for total care.

Laura is blessed to attend a day program five days a week with her peers. We believe Laura loves leaving each morning as she stands at the door indicating she’s “ready to go.” Quite simply, without the support of wonderful direct support professionals (DSPs) employed by our not-for-profit organizations, we would be lost. These dedicated individuals are our life line. They help us care for Laura daily.

Long-term relationships for Laura are critical because it takes significant time to learn how to appropriately care for her. It is very demanding work. Unfortunately, because of the lack of appropriate wages, turnover is significant and it is difficult to attract the right people for these critical jobs. Many of the DSPs must work two jobs just to pay their rent!

We believe that caring for vulnerable individuals such as Laura is one of the most important jobs there is. The government can indicate that increases are necessary, but unless it provides the appropriate reimbursement to these agencies, pay raises are not feasible.

Please join with us in urging New York State to give employees who support people with developmental disabilities a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work!

Barb and Jon DeLong

East Amherst

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