Rallying in Staten Island for Increased Support for DSPs and The I.DD Field
Advocating for our Direct Support Professionals and the people we support is an ongoing priority for the entire CP Family. In recent months, staffing shortages and stagnant reimbursement rates from state government have led to a more acute situation where the field of providers are experiencing universal gaps in coverage.
To maintain the issue in the forefront of elected officials and policymakers, CP Unlimited joined other groups on the Willowbrook Campus in Staten Island on Friday, March 10, to demand increased support and raise awareness of the issues facing our Agency and others. Many folks came from our Cora Hoffman Center which houses the Agency’s Day Habilitation and Article 16 clinic (visit both in our open house on March 31). The event was organized by the New York Disability Advocates and featured an array of speakers, information exchanges, and calls for action!
Ann Marie Whitty, one of our impassioned self-advocates, delivered remarks that demonstrated the real-world impact these deficiencies produce. We reprint those remarks below:
My name is Ann Marie Whitty and I came here today to talk to you about the need for more staffing in our community!
Since the pandemic, there has been a huge shortage of staff, especially at my work program. Because of this, my work schedule was cut several times. I went from 5 days a week to only a couple of days per week.
Some weeks, I had to stay home because there was no staff! This has significantly affected my pay.
When I am at work, it empowers me. It makes me feel good and it allows me to socialize with my peers. I miss my friends and want to get back to my full schedule, but that cannot happen until the staffing issue is resolved and that starts with their wages!
Support the disabled community by supporting the people who work hard and deserve a fair wage! They help us not only achieve our goals but our hopes and dreams!
See more from a state-wide rally in Albany on February 13 and join us again on March 23 as we return to the capitol to say in one voice: Care Can’t Wait! Support our DSPs now!
See an article from Staten Island Live on the day’s event.