March 14th, 2019 Posted by
Darned Skilled Professionals. That’s just one way to describe the amazing staff supporting individuals with disabilities across the state of Minnesota. On Tuesday, March 12th people from around Minnesota supported the Disability Services Day at the Capitol and shared with their legislators how the services they provide support people with disabilities, allowing them to live their best life possible. This year, Howry was glad to have representatives from all corners of our company including our Behavior Solutions department, Program department, and Administrative department.
The rally began at 10 am in the Capitol Rotunda and ran until 11 am. Individuals from all over Minnesota gathered to advocate on behalf of the disability services community. Sue Schettle (CEO of ARRM) and Julie Johnson (President of MOHR) began the rally with much energy and excitement. After introductions were made, the crowd heard from an amazing group of 14 legislators! Senators Abeler, Benson, Eken, Hayden, Hoffman, Isaacson, Koran, and Miller and Representatives Haley, Hamilton, Lislegard, Schomacker, Schultz, and Zerwas, all encouraged attendees to keep fighting for their rights’ and to make their voices heard.
The Rotunda was packed with staff, families, self-advocates, and other supporters. Representative Hamilton commented on the overwhelming number of individuals in attendance and applauded the disability service staff for the enthusiasm and passion they have for their work. “We have the willingness, we have the desire to fill these jobs. We just need the opportunity!”
After the rally, attendees met with legislators to discuss the Best Life Alliance legislation, address the DSP wage gap, and tell personal stories. With over 160 appointments and high attendance, these meetings lasted until almost 4 pm. Nevertheless, folks were able to make their message clear. The staff shortage is critical. The wage gap for DSPs is urgent. And something needs to change now.