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Advocacy Fast Facts

Utilize the following grassroots advocacy facts in your advocacy efforts:

- Pennsylvania’s intellectual disability and autism (ID/A) system is the state’s longest running, most successful public-private partnership. Private sector ID/A providers fulfill this core government service at a fraction of the cost that the state could.

- The average cost for the state to support individuals in a state institution is more than $350,000 – more than twice the average in the home and community-based system.

- Numerous studies have shown that quality of life is much better in integrated, home and community based services than in state institutions

- Government (Pennsylvania’s funds plus the 1:1 federal match) is the sole funder of intellectual disability/autism services.

- Labor costs for providing these services make up 80% - 85% of the total cost of intellectual disability/autism services in Pennsylvania.

- Pennsylvania has not funded a rate increase for intellectual disability/autism services in ten years.

The last time that Pennsylvania increased intellectual disability/autism rates, George W. Bush was the President!

Without a rate increase for 10 years, wages for Direct Support Professionals - the people who provide the hands-on daily supports - have flatlined. It has created a workforce crisis.

4,200 vacant positions (out of 35,000) every single day.

9,500 DSPs (out of 35,000) leave this workforce every single year.

The average starting wage for a DSP is $10.11/hour. The average wage overall is $11.26/hour. This is not competitive with other private sector employers – which is the primary cause of the workforce crisis.

Direct Support Professionals should be paid a living wage. Right now, they are paid poverty level wages, 25-50% below a living wage.

- The proposed 2017-18 budget includes funding ($55 million in state funds plus the matching federal funds) for the first rate increase in a decade. This funding must be enacted in the final 2017-18 budget to take the first step to address this workforce crisis.

- Support a 2017-18 budget that funds an ID/A rate increase and invests in this workforce!