The Coalition for a DSP Living Wage
Valuing Workers Who Support People with Developmental Disabilities
Autism New Jersey is proud to participate on the steering committee of The Coalition for a DSP Living Wage, a group created to address the workforce shortage crisis and obtain increased wages for Direct Support Professionals working with individuals with I/DD in New Jersey.
Steering Committee Members
The Arc of New Jersey
The Alliance for the Betterment of Citizens with Disabilities
The New Jersey Association of Community Providers
Autism New Jersey
New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities
The Family Support Coalition of New Jersey
NEW: Coalition Website
Read the Coalition’s Fact Sheet
Become an affiliate member
What is a Direct Support Professional (DSP)
DSPs support individuals with complex needs that include physical, intellectual, or behavioral challenges and health conditions. They need to make important decisions about all aspects of the lives of the individuals they support. Individuals with I/DD require assistance from DSPs in navigating everyday life; within group homes, private homes, day programs, workplaces, and anywhere else a person with I/DD may want or need to go. They are the necessary support system for people with I/DD to live successfully in communities, develop relationships, pursue careers and personal goals, and manage their lives. This work requires a high level of skill and responsibility. In addition, DSPs must comply with training requirements and regulations that are essential for protecting the health and safety of those for whom care is provided.
What is the problem?
Despite the critical and complex work that they do, the average starting salary of a DSP is only $10.50 per hour. Due to the low salaries, DSPs often must receive public assistance and/or work multiple jobs, neither of which is in the best interest in those being served or the DSP. In addition, low wages make the hiring and retention of qualified DSPs very difficult, with service provider agencies reporting a remarkably high turnover rate of approximately 44%.