We need local and national legislature to recognize and reward the specialized work of these dedicated professionals. It’s an essential service and a big problem in need of an immediate solution. Part of the problem is the lack of information as well as understanding on the part of elected officials.
If you live in Oregon
We've already done part of the work for you. We've created a form for a message that will go automatically to your state senator and representative. You can follow our template or customize the message yourself. Here's an informational flyer for you to use as well.
To send an email to your
Oregon State Representative
To send an email to your
Oregon State Senator
If you don't live in Oregon
You can help the DSPs in your state, too.
Click hereto find the contact information for your State Senator and Representative in your area to send them the following message:
Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) perform one of our nation's most challenging jobs -- for poverty wages. They care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who depend on them for their health, safety, and quality of life. Their work is both complex and technical, and it requires extensive training, compassion and patience to be done well. Sadly, financially speaking, we greatly undervalue the essential services that DSPs provide to people with IDD. Community employers of DSPs are compensated at rates that only allow them to pay wages equivalent to entry-level positions in retail or fast food, yet the job they do is highly specialized. The result is constant turnover in DSP staff, and it is devastating to the individuals they support. It also requires hours of overtime for the remaining staff that is not sustainable. Many DSPs are leaving the profession in search of jobs that pay more to support themselves and their families not by choice, but out of necessity. Please watch this documentary video, which outlines the gravity of the situation and its impact upon individuals with IDD, DSPs, and the safety net for this vulnerable population.
A word about the video
Our sincere thanks go out to those who contributed to this effort:
Community Access Services
Abilities at Work
Albertina Kerr Center
Community Services, Inc.
Marie Mills Center
Opportunity Foundation of Central Oregon
Pathway Enterprises, Inc.
Pearl Buck Center
Rise Services, Inc.
Thank you for helping us in our effort to end poverty wages for DSPs.