Chicago Tribune: Illinois Disability Services are in a
During the past 30 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. While the field is grateful for the fiscal years
2019 and 2018 funding increases for wages, these fall woefully short
of the increases that were not provided during the previous decade.
benefits still remain far below the levels needed to attract and retain
qualified employees. Annual turnover of direct care staff
can exceed 50% and many organizations have vacancies of 20% and
Despite the recent gains, statewide, the average
starting wage of a Direct
Support Professional (DSP) will remain under $12 per hour. This is
below the minimum wages enacted in some jurisdictions in Illinois; it is sad that
many consider disability services to be a low-wage industry.
As the unemployment numbers improve to full
employment levels, salary and benefit packages in other industries
continue to increase. Careers in other fields 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 support professions.
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.
More Coalition Letter to Supporters 6-1-2018
People with Disabilities
Campaign to solve the Workforce Crisis
Contact the Governor and
Your Legislators Today!
Additional Information on the
the Disability Services Workforce Crisis-Full report
Ancor One page
DSP Crisis Presentation
August, 2016 Statewide Survey
University of Illinois Workforce Study
Report To Congress
News Coverage of the
Other Important Issues