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What is the Direct Care Workforce Crisis?

  • Many people with disabilities depend on in-home direct care workers to assist them with daily tasks like eating, bathing, dressing, and more. The support of these workers enables disabled people to live, work, and play in the community setting of their choice.
  • Unfortunately, despite being essential workers, direct care workers are underpaid, receive little to no support and training, are often offered no benefits, and must navigate complicated administrative and bureaucratic systems to work.
  • The lack of people in the direct care profession coupled with outdated and difficult to navigate systems also makes it time-consuming and difficult for consumers to find, hire, and retain workers.
  • Without direct care workers, people are at risk of serious injury, death, or being forced into assisted living, nursing home, and institutional settings.

Learn More about the Direct Care Workforce Crisis

DCWC Links: 

What is Disability Rights Ohio doing?

While our intake and short term assistance teams do what they can to provide advice and resources to individual clients, long-term solutions are desperately needed to address this crisis. Disability Rights Ohio is collaborating with advocates with disabilities around the state on legislative and grassroots efforts to educate and inform policymakers and push for change – and you can get involved. Here’s how:

Share Your Story

Your voice, experiences, and opinions matter. Telling your story can help policymakers understand the reality of this crisis.

  • Fill out our survey to help us collect data to share with legislators and use in reports: 


  • Reach out to Community Engagement Coordinator, Alexia Kemerling, to share your story (or indicate you’d like to share your story on the survey above).
  • Review our story collection process and goals here.
Participate in our Grassroots Advocacy Workshop Series

Creative Changemakers: Artists and Advocates Respond to the Direct Care Workforce Crisis

In this 6-week workshop series (from July 11–August 15), participants will learn how to tell their stories through art, and then use those creative pieces to advocate for change. Lead by artist and advocate Alicia Hopkins and Disability Rights Ohio Community Engagement Coordinator Alexia Kemerling, participants will create two pieces of art – one that represents what their life looks and feels like when they have the care they need and one showing what it looks and feels like when they do not have the care they need or are struggling to maintain their support. Through the process, participants will learn a variety of advocacy tools and find empowerment through telling their stories and connecting with others. In addition to other advocacy efforts, each piece of artwork will be printed on postcards and used in a legislative letter writing campaign.



Make a Donation

Please give. To the best of your ability.