Getting Involved – You Can Help!

For family members, committed to helping advocate for people with I/DD, consider joining The Arc of New Jersey’s Family Advocacy Program by clicking www.arcfamilyadvocacy.org (website includes an online “application). For friends and neighbors committed to helping further our mission click the friends advocacy network.

Educating policy makers and elected officials concerning the mission of The Arc is essential at this time. You can help by taking action!

For issues primarily at the state level, click here for The Arc of New Jersey Action Center.
For issues at the national level, click here for The Arc of the United States Action Center.

As a person with Intellectual and other Developmental Disabilities, speaking up for yourself and participating in decisions that effect all people with I/DD is critical to advancing the mission of The Arc/Morris.

For more information concerning Morris County’s Unity Club, a self-advocacy group supported by The Arc/Morris,
call 973-428-5136.


ALLIANCE FOR THE BETTERMENT OF CITIZENS WITH DISABILITIES ACTION ALERT!

The Coalition for a DSP living Wage is focused on letting the members of the Budget Committees of the NJ Senate and Assembly hear the need for funding of raises for all DSPs. The Coalition is asking YOU to ask your staff members, self-advocates and families to meet with members of the budget committees of both legislative houses. Ask them to make appointments to visit the budget committee members and share their stories with them. Please identify committee members that are near where you provide programs, or in which the people that you support and their families reside. Below you will find talking points that can be used to shape the message, but all are asked to make the story their own. DSPs can talk about what they do, why they do it and what makes continuing to do it difficult. Self-advocates and families can talk about how important a consistent staff is to their success and well-being. You will also find below is a list of the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees members. Their contact information and addresses are available by clicking on the name of the legislator while holding down the control button of your keyboard.

If you would like assistance with making appointments, briefing the representatives of your organization who will make the visits, or other details, contact Donna at ABCD (donna@abcdnj.org, 609-581-8375). Myself, Donna, or Cathy Chin will be happy to assist. Thanks for your assistance with this action!

Coalition for a DSP Living Wage Budget Talking Points

  • Direct Support Professionals assist and support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Although they provide critical tasks that allow for community integration and inclusion, the average starting salary for a DSP is only
    $10.50 an hour.

  • Because of this low wage, provider organizations and families who seek to hire DSPs to care for their loved ones, have a very hard time finding and retaining staff. Service provider agencies report a remarkably high turnover rate of approximately 44% and staff vacancy rates of more than 20%.

  • If nothing is done to address this issue, the workforce shortage will continue and individuals with I/DD may lose the very important services they rely on.

  • To ensure that a fully-staffed delivery system for people with I/DD in New Jersey is created and maintained, DSPs must be paid a living wage.

  • Toward that end, funding must be allotted to raise DSP salaries by $1.25 per hour every year for five years, starting in Fiscal Year 2018. It is the State’s responsibility to assure services are not negatively impacted by a workforce shortage.

  • With this in mind, we urge the Legislature to add $36 million to the FY18 Budget, which will trigger matching funds from the federal government via Medicaid, to increase wages to all Direct Support Professionals. This is a necessary step to ensure services continue uninterrupted to those who need them most.

  • Without a robust and dependable workforce, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families may not receive the services they require.

Contact Budget Committee members to make an appointment:

To make an appointment with a member of a budget committee click on the name of the legislator while holding down the control (Ctrl) button on your key board. The contact information for the legislator will become available. Call the office and request to meet with the legislator.

Senate Budget Committee Members
Sarlo, Paul A. - Chair
Stack, Brian P. - Vice-Chair
Beck, Jennifer
Bucco, Anthony R.
Cruz-Perez, Nilsa
Cunningham, Sandra B.
Diegnan, Patrick J.
Greenstein, Linda R.
O'Toole, Kevin J.
Oroho, Steven V.
Ruiz, M. Teresa
Thompson, Samuel D.
Van Drew, Jeff

Assembly Budget Committee Members
Schaer, Gary S. - Chair
Burzichelli, John J. - Vice-Chair
Bucco, Anthony M.
DiMaio, John
Johnson, Gordon M.
McKeon, John F.
Mukherji, Raj
Muoio, Elizabeth Maher
O'Scanlon, Declan J.
Pintor Marin, Eliana
Rodriguez-Gregg, Maria
Singleton, Troy
Wimberly, Benjie E.

Dan Keating, PhD
Executive Director

 
 
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