TESTIMONY BY CAROL A. GRIGSBY BEFORE THE COMMITTEE ON FACILITIES AND FAMILY SERVICES ON THE DEPARTMENT ON DISABILITY SERVICES, FEB 16, 2023
- The effects of the pandemic, coupled with the narrowing of the gap between DC’s minimum wage and living wage, have led to significant staffing shortages – 23% on average - among DC’s disability support providers. Direct support professionals who remain on the job are drastically overburdened. Please heed today’s testimony by Ian Paregol from the Coalition of Disability Service Providers with respect to the need for urgent and full implementation of the Direct Support Professional Payment Rate Act
- People receiving residential supports from DDS have received a flat $100 monthly personal needs allowance since 2007 – with no cost-of-living allowance, or COLA. A decision last month provides for a COLA to be applied to the personal needs allowance for people in intermediate care facilities and nursing homes, but in order to apply a COLA for people in supported living, such as my son, or in community residences, there must be explicit action as part of the budget process. Year-on-year erosion in people’s personal allowance must not be allowed to continue, and we look to you to help remedy this injustice.
I would not be in a position to advocate as I do if my son were not receiving DDS supports, and I would like to thank Andy Reese, Winslow Woodland, my son’s service coordinator and others in DDS for continuing to pursue improvements in quality control, DDA/RSA collaboration, and other initiatives to achieve more meaningful inclusion of disabled people in our DC community. Thank you.