"Low wages for disability service professionals result in needless suffering and violation of federal law and court order"
(Equip for 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.  Despite last year's first funding increase in 10 years, wages and 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 higher.

Statewide, the average wage of a Direct Support Professional (DSP) is under $11 per hour.  This is below the minimum wages enacted in some jurisdictions in Illinois; it is sad to consider that disability services are now considered a minimum 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 caregiver 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 Caregiver Crisis.   The future of services for Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Illinois is at stake. 

People with Disabilities Deserve More!
Campaign to solve the Caregiver Crisis

Additional Information on the Caregiver Crisis

Ancor-Addressing the Disability Services Workforce Crisis-Full report     Ancor One page summary

August, 2016 Statewide Survey     University of Illinois Workforce Study

2006 Report To Congress   

News Coverage of the Caretaker Crisis

Other Important Issues

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