Letter: Ohio is doing right for citizens

The legislature has taken up the cause of Ohio’s citizens with developmental disabilities with new funding for Direct Service Providers (DSPs).

These are the professionals who work one-on-one or in small groups of people with developmental disabilities, providing for their most basic needs while coaching and challenging them to develop new skills like social interaction, basic finance, vocational training, and even driving a car.

This is a labor of love, a calling to help those in need, and a job that requires people with big hearts.

Currently, the majority of DSP’s are making just at or even below poverty level income, forcing them into a terrible choice: taking a higher-paying job, leaving the people they serve without coaching and support, or continuing to work in poverty.

Thanks to Governor DeWine’s budget proposal, Ohio is set to begin addressing this workforce crisis of Direct Service Providers by funding a wage increase for some services and off-setting transportation costs for people with disabilities to make sure DSPs can earn a livable income while continuing their service to adults and children with developmental disabilities.

As coaches and support professionals, we’re committed to ending disabled stigmas, helping people connect with their communities, and helping people learn to live independently.

Ohio is doing right for citizens with developmental disabilities by making sure their DSP coaches are never forced to leave their side for financial reasons.

Justin Blumhorst, St. Marys


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