Direct support professionals (DSPs) assist people with disabilities to live independently by providing support with daily living needs like dressing, food shopping, job coaching, transportation, and more. The work DSPs do is vital to making sure that people with disabilities can lead full lives in their communities. But DSPs are underpaid, and the value of this professional work is not always recognized. This leads to high turnover and job vacancies – it’s a crisis.
DSPs and people with disabilities deserve more!
Ask your Member of Congress to support S. 3369/H.R. 6045, the Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act, a bipartisan bill. This bill will professionalize what it means to be a DSP and improve data collection around DSP workforce challenges. This is an important step in solving this crisis.
Right now, the federal government classifies DSPs under the larger category of “home health care aide.” This makes it impossible to track and understand the workforce trends for DSPs and to see what regions and support needs are being hit hardest by the crisis.
This new bill would create a separate classification for DSPs, which will lead to better data collection. Accurate data will give the government the information it needs to:
- fully understand DSP turnover rates,
- identify where the workforce shortages are,
- understand where training programs are needed,
- recognize the important role that DSPs play in supporting people with disabilities, and
- ensure DSPs get paid a living wage.