BINGHAMTON, NY – A rally was held today to address the state’s workforce crisis of Direct Service Professionals, otherwise known as DSPs.

Members from New York Disability Advocates, Able-2, ACHIEVE, HCA, along with State Senator Fred Akshar, Assembly members Joe Angelino and Brian Miller and many community members came to make the crisis of DSP workers in the Southern Tier known.

DSPs provide life support and services to more than 140,000 New Yorkers with developmental disabilities.

Barbara Brown has been a DSP worker for over a decade, and she mentions why she stays even though she gets paid so little.

“Seeing how you make a difference in someone’s life is so rewarding. Hearing them say a word for the first time, or watching them learn to walk, or taking someone for their first amusement park ride and seeing the joy on their face, or how your simple hug can calm a behavior. Not everyone can be a DSP, we’re special,” says Brown.

Members are asking Albany to stop the cuts, raise the wage, and fund the future.

Other speakers say that the already existing workforce crisis escalated drastically during the pandemic and if immediate action is not taken this will continue to force service reduction due to loss of DSP workers.

For more information about the shortage, visit