Advocacy Matters November

Self-Advocates Testify at  DHS  Budget Listening Session
On Tuesday, November 22 , members of the New Jersey Statewide Self-Advocacy Network attended the Department of Human Services 2017 Budget Listening Session in Trenton. 

Self-advocates addressed the New Jersey State Budget and how it impacts the daily lives of people with disabilities. Advocates also testified in support of a wage increase  for 
Direct Support Professionals. 

Self-advocates shared their personal experiences with losing qualified, trusted staff members to other jobs that pay more money. Advocates spoke about the variety of tasks that are expected of Direct Support Professionals, from taking care of their daily needs, to providing necessary transportation to medical appointments and social activities, and acting as a confidant and friend in difficult times. 

Without a decent living wage, the high turnover rate amongst Direct Support Professionals will continue to negatively impact the lives of people with disabilities and support provider agencies looking to hire and retain a qualified workforce. 
Todd Emmons,  Chair Person of Council 4 spoke t o members of  Budget Committee about the role of Support Staff in his life.
" matter what, I know that I can count on my staff to help me whenever I need it.  I can talk to my staff about anything. I can tell that they are stressed out because most of them have families and children  they need to support..." -  Karen Marshall, President, Go Getters  Self-Advocacy Group 

Evelyn Ramundo,
Vice President of the Advisory Board of the NJSSAN, spoke to  the Budget Committee about the types of assistance she receives from Direct Support Professionals.

Gary Rubin, Region 7 SABE Representative, provided testimony in support of raising the living-wage for 
Direct Support Professionals.
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