Letter: Increase state wages for people whose career is helping those with disabilities


As a recently published Capitol News Illinois article explained, Illinois has been making important strides to increase funding for services for people with disabilities. But workforce shortages are creating an obstacle to ongoing progress.

While Illinois has increased direct service professionals wages, they’ve barely kept pace with the state’s minimum wage. This creates serious problems for places like Kreider Services.

Statewide, 25% of all DSP positions are vacant. Since providers can’t find DSPs, they are cutting off new service enrollments, closing group homes, and delaying expansions.

It’s clear we need help. That’s why we joined the frontline DSP workers. The Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities is calling for legislators to approve a $4-an-hour wage increase in the next state budget.

The increased wages will help us compete for workers who consider our work a career, not a job. Half of the funding increase comes from the federal government. This will allow Illinois to provide more services and care to people who need them at a lower cost.

Illinois is transitioning people out of Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center due to abuse and neglect reports. Community providers must be staffed to meet their needs. The wage increase proposal is the right way forward. We call on Illinois lawmakers to act now.

Jeff Stauter


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May 7, 2023 at 07:28PM

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