#AdvocacyMatters: Change Wages, Change Lives

April 14, 2023 / #AdvocacyMatters

Throughout this budget season, we rallied alongside disabled advocates in our community to highlight the need for lawmakers to #BudgetWithCare. The outpouring of support from the Ohio disability community and their supporters has created a united front calling for real solutions to the direct care workforce crisis. While we highlighted some of our favorite budgeting messages earlier in the process, we wanted to take a moment to lift up more voices from our partner organizations today that relate directly to the support for an increase in wages for direct support professionals (DSPs).

“On behalf of The Ability Center of Greater Toledo, I ask that this committee support a base hourly wage for direct care providers of at least $20/ hour that is the same across HCBS Waivers overseen by ODM, ODA, and DODD” - Katherine Hunt Thomas, The Ability Center of Toledo

“AOF supports our member organizations, disabled Ohioans, and older adults in respectfully requesting an increase up to a minimum wage of $20 per hour for all direct care workers across the Departments of Aging, Medicaid, and Developmental Disabilities. Direct care work has been undervalued and under compensated for so long that our care systems are hitting a breaking point” - Kelsey Bergfeld, Advocates for Ohio’s Future

“The Governor’s proposed budget makes some progress for the direct care workforce, but if we want to attract and retain professionals in all of these sectors (children, families, older adults, and people with disabilities), we need to pay professionals at least $20 an hour for the critical work they do.” - Will Petrik, Policy Matters Ohio

All of these messages, and the continued work of disabled advocates both inside and outside of these organizations prove one major thing: our advocacy is working. Your voices are being heard, your thoughts are being valued, and together we will be part of the reason that our state Changes Wages, and Changes Lives.

We couldn’t do it without you, because every voice matters. #AdvocacyMatters

The Ability Center of Toledo, Advocates for Ohio’s Future, and Policy Matters Ohio have partnered with Disability Rights Ohio in this advocacy.

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