In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Minority Leader McConnell, 34 national organizations expressed their support for S. 1332, the Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act. This legislation aims to create a standard occupational classification for direct support professionals (DSPs) to address a workforce crisis that has long-lasting consequences for individuals with disabilities relying on Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). DSPs provide essential caregiving services and promote independence within the community for people with disabilities. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and a high turnover rate among DSPs have caused further instability in access to these vital supports. The letter emphasizes that the absence of a specific occupational code for DSPs impacts wage determination and data collection, hindering the ability to address the workforce crisis effectively. S. 1332 is seen as a critical step in recognizing the importance of DSPs and addressing the ongoing workforce challenges in this field.
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