Community-based services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are facing one of the most major and growing workforce crises in the United States labor market. Which is why, the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) brought together national disability organizations and workforce experts last week to preview its new report entitled, Addressing the Disability Services Workforce Crisis of the 21st Century. Participants of ANCOR’s March 23rd Workforce Summit also discussed potential policy solutions moving forward.
ANCOR’s report compiles the latest data on the direct support professional (DSP) workforce, offers a historical overview of the workforce crisis, and offers solutions on how it can be addressed.
“For almost fifty years, ANCOR has represented providers of disability services in Washington, DC and watched the workforce crisis grow into a public health crisis,” said ANCOR CEO Barbara Merrill, “We are proud of the strides we have made in Congress and with previous Administrations, but this report marks the beginning of an even stronger movement to take measurable steps toward addressing the workforce crisis.”
ANCOR members and leaders of ANCOR’s National Advocacy Campaign, Daryn Demeritt and Chris Sparks, led ANCOR membership in ensuring the report was comprehensive and offered concrete solutions.
“The DSP crisis is profound and we see it in our daily operations across the country,” said Demeritt of ResCare based in Kentucky, “ANCOR’s report comes at a pivotal moment when we need to take action and cannot risk ignoring the impact it has on the quality of services provided to Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.“
“This is an instance where failure is not an option,” added Sparks of Exceptional Person, Inc. (EPI) in Iowa, “Millions of people with disabilities rely on DSPs so that they can access their communities, engage with their families and friends, and participate in the workforce themselves. There are not enough DSPs to meet the need, and the waiting lists for these services are only growing. ANCOR’s report offers the solutions that need to be harnessed now to avoid decline of this successful program.”
Click here to read the Executive Summary of the ANCOR Workforce Report
Click here to access the full ANCOR Workforce Report
Click here to visit ANCOR’s Workforce Website
The American Network of Community Options and Resources is a national trade association representing more than 1,200 private providers of community living and employment supports and services to more than 800,000 individuals with disabilities with a workforce that’s over half a million strong. ANCOR advocates for the crucial role private providers play in enhancing and supporting the lives of people with disabilities and their families.
Through its National Advocacy Campaign, ANCOR seeks to obtain the resources to recruit, train and retain a sustainable direct support workforce. ANCOR provides organization, professional, leadership development and networking opportunities and services and is continually working toward partnerships and collaborations that support our mission, which is to advance the ability of our members in supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to fully participate in their communities.www.ancor.org.