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
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.