PAR Mail 2017-223
PAR, The Alliance CSP, and RCPA Release Study Highlighting Direct Support Professional Workforce Crisis
Join PAR for December 6 DSP Workforce Hearing in Harrisburg
PAR (Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability), The Alliance of Community Service Providers (The Alliance CSP), and Rehabilitation of Community Providers Association (RCPA) released a study that outlines the following key findings:

  1. Raising DSP wages to $15/hour would generate a net taxpayer savings of approximately $199 million annually
  2. The direct relationship between increasing DSP wages and quality service improvement,
  3. The cost benefit to the Commonwealth when increasing DSP wages
  4. The positive impact on the DSP quality of life by increasing DSP wages.
  5. Current low wages require DSPs to rely on public assistance creating additional demands of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's budget
  6. Current low wages cause DSPs to leave their jobs at an alarming rate (11.9% vacancy and 26% staff turnover) which threatens service quality
  7. Between 2003 and 2020 there will have been a 40% increase in the demand for direct support professionals and the services they provide

The research was done by Social Innovations Partners and the study has been endorsed by Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP) every Pennsylvania ID/A association with paid staff (Moving Agencies Toward Excellence (MAX), The Arc of Pennsylvania, The Provider Alliance (TPA), and United Cerebral Palsy of Pennsylvania (UCP of PA)).
PAR's top priority in advocacy is raising DSP wages to a living wage by 2021. We encourage you to use this information to continue advocating to your legislators and other elected officials to #FixTheDSPCrisis .

You can read the study here and the accompanying press release here .
Join PAR for December 6 DSP Workforce Crisis Hearing

In PAR Mail 2017-204 we informed you that the House was unexpectedly called into a special session, resulting in the October 3 DSP Workforce Crisis Hearing being rescheduled.

We are pleased to announce that the hearing has been rescheduled for December 6, 2017 from 9am-11am . Social Innovations CEO Nicholas Torres and Woods Research and Evaluation Institute President Dr. Scott Spreat will testify on a panel with the results of the DSP Compensation Practices Study. Other testifiers include Cheryl Dougan, mother of Renzo who was featured in the Fix The DSP Crisis video, along with a DSP and SpArc Director of Administration Mia McGuire.

Please plan to attend the hearing with your organization's DSPs, other staff, families, and consumers! You are also encouraged to schedule meetings with your state legislators' offices on the same day and meet with them to discuss how the DSP Workforce Crisis is affecting you and your organization. Look up your legislator's contact information here and email Andrew Ritter at ritter@capitalassoc.com or Rebekah Glick at rebekah@par.net if you need assistance. This is an opportunity to stand together and show Pennsylvania's House members that your are deeply concerned about the DSP crisis. Please let PAR know if you are coming by emailing rebekah@par.net. Click here for a map of the Capitol's handicap accessible entrances. We hope to see you there! 
PAR (Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability)
4 Lemoyne Drive, Suite 203, Lemoyne, PA 17043
717.236.2374