"Low wages for disability
service professionals result in needless suffering and violation of
federal law and court order"
Equality press release, April 10, 2017)
During the past 25 years, Avenues and other
disability advocates have been sounding a warning about the chronic
underfunding of services in Illinois and across the United States.
Today, Illinois ranks 47th nationally in its
per capita fiscal spending on community developmental disability
services. Combined with the current budget impasse, wages and
benefits are far below the levels needed to attract and retain
qualified individuals. Annual turnover of direct care staff
can exceed 50% and many organizations have vacancies of 20% and
Statewide, the average wage of a Direct
Support Professional (DSP) is under $10 per hour. This is
below the minimum wages enacted in many jurisdictions across the
country; it is sad to consider that disability services are now
considered a minimum wage industry.
As the unemployment numbers continue to
decline, salary and benefit packages in other industries are
increasing. Other career options come with higher salaries,
better benefits and do not require the level of skill, attention to
detail and compassion that are required in the disability field.
Disability advocates, associations and
agencies have highlighted the workforce crisis as our number one
priority that needs to be resolved.
Everyone is asked to contact
the Governor, Senators and Representatives to support people with
disabilities and resolve the Workforce Crisis.
The future of services for Individuals with intellectual and
developmental disabilities in Illinois is at stake.
Action and Support Individuals with Disabilities by supporting their
Direct Care Workforce
Additional Information on the
Disability System Workforce Crisis
WGN TV, June 7, 2017
The Human Cost of No Illinois Budget
People with Disabilities
Campaign to solve the Caregiver Crisis
August, 2016 Statewide Survey
News Coverage of the Workforce Crisis
University of Illinois Workforce Study
2006 Report To Congress
Other Important State and Federal Issues