The Arc celebrates “National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week” beginning September 8, 2019. Direct support professionals (DSPs) play a fundamental role in the lives of people with disabilities. Their presence and assistance allow people receiving services to lead independent and full lives.
Direct support professionals help people with disabilities manage personal care, communication, household tasks, building relationships, and navigating the community. DSPs are invaluable to the disability community and the service systems that rely on their ability to keep people out of institutional settings.
But DSPs are paid low wages, and turnover is high. The result is a workforce crisis.
The *numbers are staggering for DSPs:
- $11.76 average hourly wage
- 15% of agencies provide DSPs with health insurance
- 46% average state-wide turnover rate
- 12% overall vacancy rate
- 38% of DSPs left their position in less than 6 months
This workforce crisis has real-life impacts on DSPs and people with disabilities. Without consistent support from a well-paid and trained workforce, individuals with disabilities do not receive the proper services they need to live meaningful lives.
To better understand why DSPs need our support, watch our new video.
*National Core Indicators