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WANTED: A Fair Day's Pay for a Fair Day's Work

Last week when I went to Albany to the NY Alliance Legislative Forum with CRVI DSPs Chris Shepard and Andrew Martinez,  we were given very valuable information that we wanted to share with you. 


The following information was given to us by NY Alliance for Inclusion & Innovation

WANTED:  A Fair Day’s Pay for a Fair Day’s Work

Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are the lynchpin of the system of supports for more than 130,000 people with developmental disabilities in New York. The more than 110,000 DSPs (97,000 working for not-for-profit agencies) enable the individuals they support to live self-directed, meaningful and productive lives and are key to making it possible for an individual with disabilities to live in the community. The demands of the job far exceed the compensation, with average hourly wages between $11.10 and $14.60.


DSPs are the men and women who carry out incredibly varied and important responsibilities to support New Yorkers with developmental disabilities and help them live safe, fulfilling lives.

DSPs exemplifly diversity. Nearly three-quarters are women, many of whom are single mothers, and half are either black or Latino. They are professionals who are highly trained in a wide variety of critical areas that include administering medications, giving first aid and CPR, de-escalating dangerous situations, behavioral intervention, and providing for the safety of those they support.

DSPs must comply with OSHA regulations, fire drills/emergency evacuation procedures, on-the-job Core Competency requirements, and a Code of Ethics developed by National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals (NADSP). They also must know the laws, regulations and procedures designed to protect individuals.


Provide services and supports for activities of daily living, including meal preparation, grooming and toileting.

Medication administration, which requires extensive training leading to certification and annual retesting.

Lift and move individuals to meet their mobility needs and the performance of daily activities.

Tube feeding, diabetic & wound care, oxygen administration and they must be knowledgable of the operation of durable medical equipment including those that are used for lifting, bathing and transporting individuals with developmental disabilities.

Transport individuals with disabiltiies to all activities throughout the community.

Teach personal care skills, money management and social skills.

Supporting the delivery of physical and behavioral health services in both routine and crisis situations

Form close, trusted relationships with individuals with disabilties and their families, making community living in New York State a reality.

Respect the human dignity and uniqueness of the people they support and serve as advocates through the promotion of human and civil rights.

Understand and communicate complex information to others via daily logs, progress reports and electronic means.


As said by Clarence Sundrum, Governor Cuomo’s Special Advisor on Vulnerable Persons,

“One might summarize the job description of the Direct Support Worker as requiring the wisdom of Solomon, the patience of Job and the caring of Florence Nightingale.”