Avenues to Independence Information Portal

Chicago Tribune:  Illinois Disability Services are in a dismal state

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.  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.

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.

Unemployment numbers are at a 30 year low; 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.   

They Deserve More Coalition Letter to Supporters 6-1-2018

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

Contact the Governor and Your Legislators Today!

Additional Information on the Workforce Crisis

Ancor-Addressing the Disability Services Workforce Crisis-Full report     Ancor One page summary
Ancor/NCI DSP Crisis Presentation

August, 2016 Statewide Survey     University of Illinois Workforce Study

Report To Congress   

News Coverage of the Workforce Crisis


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