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Letter: Pay professionals who take care of disabled a living wage

Many times, people with disabilities have a limited natural support network and rely heavily on the relationships they build with our direct support professional (DSP) staff. A frustration that is often stated by the individuals we serve is the high turnover rate of DSPs due to the continual need to be promoted within the agency to make a living wage, or to move to another field that pays more.

We need to pay people the living wage they deserve and are qualified to receive so services to people with developmental disabilities remain of high caliber.

As Sen. Robert Ortt, chair of Mental Hygiene and Developmental Disabilities recently said at a committee meeting in Albany, “My concern is staff will leave to make more money while the individual with the disability that is getting services is stuck.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and members of the State Legislature, please put $45 million in this year’s state budget to pay DSPs a living wage. Would you want what could become a revolving door of people caring for your loved ones?

Nicholas Cacciotti

Tonawanda

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