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What is the Direct Care Workforce Crisis?

  • Many people with disabilities and older adults 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  • The lack of people in the direct care profession coupled with outdated and difficult to navigate systems also makes it time-consuming and difficult for consumers to find, hire, and retain workers.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.


The #EveryoneDeservesCare series shares real stories from disabled Ohioans that have been affected by the Direct Care Workforce Crisis in order to educate the population and those in power to make change on the dire nature of this issue. 

Click here to view our interactive story map. 

Robert's Story

Cynthia's Story 

Kevin and Carolyn's Story

LC's Story

Daniella and Roxanne's Story

JW's Story

Cara and Corey's Story

Christine's Story

Luke and Heather's Story

Latisha's Story

BC's Story

Julie's Story

Allie's Story 

Allie's Perspective

Marcus and Cindy's Story

Maria's Story

Vicki's Story


Advocacy Efforts and Outcomes

The following section will highlight advocacy outcomes from DRO and our Policy team, including projects that fight for education, outreach and change for the crisis. 

  • DRO helped to write and signed on to a letter to the Office of the Governor, which resulted in getting representatives from SEVEN disability-lead groups appointed to the state’s Direct Care Workforce Expansion Working Group. 

Get Involved in our Advocacy

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. Currently, we are publishing individual stories on our website under the label #EveryoneDeservesCare, with the goal of compiling a larger report targeted at legislators and state agencies.

Review our story collections process and goals here.

If you would like to share your story for this series, please fill out this survey:

Vocal Video

Vocal video allows us to capture testimony and information from video and audio without the need for an interview or typing. This more accessible way to tell your story is new to DRO, and we are so excited to share it with you!

If you would rather share video or audio of your direct care, HCBS or other impacted story, use the following links: 

For people affected by the direct care crisis:

For people impacted by the nursing crisis:

For providers, nurses, and caregivers to share their stories:

Get Updates on Advocacy Opportunities

Fill out this survey to tell us how you'd like to be involved and join our Direct Care Workforce Crisis Advocate contact list. 

Get Involved!

Make a Donation

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