"Low wages for disability
service professionals result in needless suffering and violation of
federal law and court order"
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
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
Campaign to solve the Caregiver Crisis
Additional Information on the
the Disability Services Workforce Crisis-Full report
Ancor One page
August, 2016 Statewide Survey
University of Illinois Workforce Study
2006 Report To Congress
News Coverage of the Caretaker Crisis
Other Important Issues