Rousing chants of “Three point two!” “Invest in Me!” and “No Staff, No Services” echoed from the war room into Governor Kathy Hochul’s office at the Capitol building in Albany. Disability advocates from across New York gathered on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 to make their voices heard and demand that the Intellectual/Developmental Disability (I/DD) community be made a priority in the next state budget.

Dozens of members of the Living Resources family, from leadership team members and direct support professionals (DSPs) to supported individuals and family members, were among the hundreds of people wearing orange, holding up signs, and listening to speakers. Did you know DSPs in New York make only cents above minimum wage and those who work at non-profits earn only 70% of what their state-employed counterparts make? Poor pay can force workers, who otherwise love what they do, to seek employment elsewhere simply to make ends meet. This can lead to high turnover which can lead to a lack of consistent, high-quality services for those who depend on them.

Senator Jake Ashby (R-Castleton), Assemblymember John McDonald (D-Cohoes), Assemblymember Mary Beth Walsh (R- Ballston), Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (D-Albany), and Former Assemblymember Tom Abinanti (D-Pleasantville) spoke before the crowd, pledging that they will continue to be allies in the fight for increased wages and added supports for agencies and DSPs across the New York.

The event was organized by New York Disabilities Advocates (NYDA). Organizers say more rallies are being planned in the months ahead and our Living Resources team plans to be there, to continue our advocacy efforts. To keep up to date on future events, follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

Top Advocacy Items

  • 3.2% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) in reimbursement rates to help keep up with inflation
  • Direct Support Wage Enhancements (DSWE) to help us give meaningful pay raises to DSPs

How You Can Get Involved

  • The Arc New York has launched a website that you can use to send a customizable message directly to Governor Hochul and the New York State Legislature demanding that they invest in the workforce that supports the I/DD community. Click here to access that tool and make your voice heard: