Now more than ever, it is critical for siblings to advocate for the continuation of services for individuals with disabilities throughout New York State. As siblings, we can have a significant impact on funding decisions by sharing our stories with our assemblymembers and senators and telling them, in simple, human terms, how the loss of government funding that supports services for people with disabilities – including the salaries of the Direct Support Professionals who bring these services to life – will negatively impact our brothers and sisters.
Formal advocacy efforts in New York State are organized through agencies throughout the state, and through professional associations such as the InterAgency Council of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Agencies, downstate, and the New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies, in Albany, that represent them. These efforts are always strengthened by sibling participation so please, get involved!
Nationally, the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) is leading an advocacy campaign to increase the wages of dedicated Direct Service Professionals and to strengthen the service system for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Please join them!