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People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) leverage the services of direct support professionals (DSPs) in order to live and work in their homes and communities. However, low wages due to stagnant reimbursement rates have led to high turnover and vacancy rates in the DSP workforce. The loss of DSPs across the field has left many people without stable access to home- and community-based supports.
Because we need data to understand the scope of the workforce crisis before we can fully solve the problem, the creation of a standard occupational classification (SOC) for DSPs is essential to ensuring people with I/DD have access to critical supports and services. A unique SOC for DSPs would help states and the federal government collect data on demographics and turnover rates. This, in turn, will help inform policies to address the workforce shortage. A DSP SOC will also help states more accurately set rates, which could positively impact DSP wages.
Tell your members of Congress today to support the bipartisan “Recognizing the Role of Direct Support Professionals Act” (H.R. 4779 / S. 1437), which requires the Office of Management and Budget to establish a separate category within the Standard Occupational Classification system for DSPs.
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