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I am a DSP (Direct Support Professional).

I do this work because, as a community, we need to support each other.

It’s not easy; we pay for it dearly. It’s physically, emotionally, and even spiritually exhausting. I have to work four double shifts to make enough money to keep enough gas in my car to get back to work. My rent went up $150 a month in February, along with my electricity, internet, and medical costs. My wage did not! I have seen so many staff leave due to financial issues caused by not making enough money.

We took a Kerr client to Oaks Amusement Park and thought she might like to ride a rollercoaster. She kept signing “yes, yes, yes,” so we knew she wanted to ride. We were amazed at what happened to this young lady. The rollercoaster started going around slowly at first. She turned her head left and right, trying to see everything. At first, I thought maybe she didn’t like it. Then the rollercoaster sped up. All of a sudden, she laughed! Not just a big smile but a laugh. She made a sound!

Three years of helping this young lady who never uttered a peep and one day on a rollercoaster changed her life. It changed mine too. I have never felt so accomplished in my entire life. To be able to provide a life-changing moment for her was priceless. I need you to put a price on me. What are DSPs worth?

Value the work. Raise the wage!

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