Notable News

Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) provide essential, life-supporting services for New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Unfortunately, for the last decade, consistent underfunding of nonprofit I/DD provider agencies has led to a workforce crisis, as wage stagnation has undercut staff retention efforts and driven workers from the field. The staff vacancy rate remains 42 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels, an unsustainable trend and status quo for our state. This shortage causes direct harm to New Yorkers who rely on DSP support and have the right to live lives that the rest of us take for granted.

These economic stresses force many DSPs to leave the field and the people they love. The annual turnover rate for agencies statewide is a staggering 30 percent. Workers are leaving to work in retail, fast-food or home care, and many other sectors, which provide higher pay and require less training.

The Arc of Monroe currently has 110 DSP openings which represents a 35% vacancy rate. The quality of candidates that we are receiving is extremely poor. We experience 75% no call, no show for interviews that are scheduled, and our first year turnover rate for DPS’s is currently trending at 80%.  

While we are grateful for the 4.5% COLA included in the 2024 NYS Budget, it fell short. We needed at least 8% to make up for years of underfunding while trying to fund pay increases to be competitive and retain staff. We strive to partner with our legislators who can make a difference for people with I/DD. It's not just about giving disability service providers like The Arc more money. We are always searching for innovative ways to attract and retain staff, including partnering with local colleges, trying new recruitment strategies, and educating people about the benefits of supporting people with I/DD. 

We are grateful for any help you can offer in our fight to provide a living wage that honors the incredible work our staff do every day. To contact your legislators regarding important advocacy topics, check out all of One-Click Campaigns organized by The Arc NY.

One-Click Campaign

Arc of Monroe Contacts

Christen Smith
Senior Director of Marketing & Communications
(585) 773-8535

Jessica Blondell
Marketing Manager & Arc Alliance Advisor
(585) 643-0097

Government Representatives

Senator Charles E. Schumer
780 Third Avenue, Suite 2301
New York, NY 10017
Click to Email

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Kenneth B. Keating Federal Office Building
100 State Street
Room 4195
Rochester, NY 14614
Click to Email

Congressman Joseph Morelle
3120 Federal Building
100 State Street
Rochester, NY  14614
Click to Email

Search for your NYS Representatives here.

Arc NY Advocacy Toolkit

NY Alliance Resources

DSP Stats at The Arc of Monroe (as of August 2023)


DSP Openings


Vacancy Rate


No Call, No Show to Scheduled Interviews


Turnover Rate for First Year DSPs


Turnover Rate for Agencies Statewide

Arc Alliance Self Advocacy Group

Arc Alliance is an award-winning self advocacy group organized by The Arc of Monroe that is comprised of people with disabilities. The group meets monthly to talk about the latest issues that people with disabilities face in their communities, as well as practical solutions to bring meaningful change.

Want to get involved? The group is open to anyone in the greater Rochester area! Email Jessica Blondell to learn about how to join.

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