Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Better Pay Urged for Direct Support Professionals

The Albany Times Union's story from earlier this month about the Direct Support Professionals who work with individuals with developmental disabilities across the state is generating some interest. It is particularly timely after last week's National Direct Support Professional Recognition Week and the bill in the House of Representatives that would boost wages and the professionalism for this incredibly dedicated workforce. Check out this letter to the editor from Karen Nagy, a parent of a child with autism in Rexford, N.Y.

Your Sept. 12 story, "Health workers seek respect," highlights the ongoing challenges facing direct care staff working with individuals with significant disabilities.
We are parents of a young man with autism. With the help of many not-for-profit agencies and their dedicated direct care staff, he has made significant progress toward independence and community integration. Our son is profoundly disabled and requires a high level of expertise. Staff who care for him provide a substantial level of supervision -- and they are grossly underpaid.

Direct care workers deserve to be adequately compensated and recognized for their profession.

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