In a united effort to address the pressing workforce crisis impacting access to services for individuals with disabilities, 34 national organizations have voiced their support for S. 1332, the Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act. In a letter led by ANCOR, addressed to Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Minority Leader McConnell, these organizations emphasize the urgency of creating a standard occupational classification for direct support professionals (DSPs).
DSPs play a vital role in providing caregiving services and fostering independence within the disability community. However, the workforce crisis, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and high turnover rates among DSPs, has created instability in access to these critical services. According to the most recent Staff Stability Survey conducted by National Core Indicators® Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (NCI), the national turnover rate among DSPs is approximately 43% and ranges as high as 59% in some states. In addition, full-time vacancy rates for DSPs have increased to 16.5% in 2021—a nearly 94% increase from 2019.
The absence of a specific occupational code for DSPs has far-reaching consequences, affecting data collection, thus hindering effective solutions to the ongoing workforce challenges in this field. S. 1332 is seen as a crucial step in recognizing the invaluable contributions of DSPs and addressing these pressing issues.
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