Southwestern Pennsylvania-based Achieva, a disability advocacy and service organization, has announced its affiliation of The Arc Erie County with The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh, a member of the Achieva Family of Organizations.
Everyone's dealing with something during this pandemic, but thousands of parents caring for children with physical or intellectual disabilities are facing a catastrophic crisis. Families of people with disabilities are pleading with Gov. Tom Wolf and the legislature to help.
Families of people with disabilities are pleading with Gov. Tom Wolf and the legislature to help. They are asking them to work together to raise the wages of the DSPs.
Nancy Murray, Senior Vice President of Achieva, says Pennsylvania is facing a dire shortage of direct support professionals to help those families in need. "You know, it's just awful. That's really the best word I can use to describe it. These families are becoming more, and more desperate.
Repeated underfunding has resulted in community disability programs being unable to recruit a workforce of direct support professionals (DSPs) to support people with disabilities in their homes, at their jobs, and in their communities.
Now we have families who finally got the funding for the services they need, and we can't provide them with those services because we can't recruit and retain staff," said Nancy Murray, senior vice president of Achieva, a disability services provider in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania is facing a dire shortage of direct support professionals who help people with intellectual and developmental disabilities bathe, get dressed, eat, exercise, socialize, and perform many other fundamental tasks.
A staffing shortage has left people with intellectual disabilities without essential services and their families without desperately needed help.
The state's plan for the money focuses on increasing access to home and community-based services and staffing for those services. Addressing staff recruitment and retention is key, said Nancy Murray, president of the Arc of Greater Pittsburgh and senior vice president at Achieva.
Ms. Kambic, who has Down syndrome, also developed an original pictographic written language. She uses it to title and explain her art, which spans the mediums of fiber, mixed media painting and sculpture — a "pretty rare" mixture of abilities for any artist.
Latrobe Bulletin (Editorial by Nancy Murray, President, The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh)
WESA FM (Nancy Murray, president of The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh and senior vice president at Achieva is quoted)
Public Source (Lu Randall, executive director, Autism Connection of PA is quoted)
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
WESA The Confluence (11:33 - 21:30) Nancy Murray and Karen OOsterhous