January 25, 2022

Marlon Thomas: DSPs on the Front Lines

There is a workforce crisis in Illinois’ care system for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Direct Support Personnel (DSPs) like Marlon Thomas work on the front lines of this pandemic in community settings providing personal care, companionship and life skill support for some 27,000 individuals with developmental disabilities. The median wage for DSPs in Illinois is just $12.04 per hour. Even though the state has increased funding to these private agencies, they have not consistently or equitably passed the dollars on to frontline workers. While state-level data by race is not available in Illinois, national surveys indicate that DSPs of color earn an average of 41 cents per hour less than their counterparts and work the largest amount of overtime hours.

Related News