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Direct Support Worker Bill Can Make a Difference
Take Action!

Contact Your Representative to Co-Sponsor H.R. 1264

BACKGROUND:

Earlier this year, Representatives Lee Terry (R-NE) and Lois Capps (D-CA)
introduced the Direct Support Professionals Fairness and Security Act of
2005 (H.R. 1264). Reps. Terry and Capps recognize the inadequate wages paid to hundreds of thousands of direct support professionals who struggle daily to enhance the lives of people with disabilities while at the same time
struggling to provide income security for their own families. H.R. 1264
represents a first step in bringing an unfair situation to the attention of
Congress and the nation.

For millions of people with disabilities of all ages, direct support
professionals are the key to living successfully in their home communities.
Direct support professionals are often personal care assistants or home care
aides who assist people with severe disabilities with medications, preparing
and eating meals, dressing, mobility, personal hygiene and handling daily
affairs.

Direct support professionals face many difficult challenges throughout their
careers. Unfortunately, these difficulties have led to high turnover and
ongoing vacancies, which can place people with severe disabilities at risk.
Annual turnover rates for direct support professionals range to more than 75
percent.

The lack of adequate and well-trained direct support staff for people with
disabilities continues to threaten the quality of services provided for
people with disabilities; undermines their choice to live and work in the
community; and chips away their ability to control their own lives.

STATUS:

The Arc, United Cerebral Palsy, the American Network of Community Options
and Resources (ANCOR) and the Lutheran Services of America are participating in a national campaign to highlight this important issue and gain support for H.R. 1264.

Currently, the following members of Congress sponsor and co-sponsor H.R.
1264:
Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) - sponsor
Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) - sponsor
Rep. John Duncan, Jr. (R-TN)
Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA)
Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL)
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Rep. Tom Osborne (R-NE)
Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV)
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA)
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
Rep. Michael Doyle (D-PA)
Rep. Michael McNulty (D-NY)
Rep. Ed Pastor (D-AZ)
Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-IN)

**Please note: If Reps. Terry, Capps or a current co-sponsor is your member
of Congress, please do not send an e-mail requesting their support of H.R.
1264.

TAKE ACTION:

Representatives Terry and Capps cannot make this bill become law without the support of the disability community. You know the difference that quality
direct support workers make. Now, it is time for you to help make a
difference. Make it happen today!

Send an e-mail today to your member of Congress and urge him/her to
co-sponsor Rep. Terry and Capps's bill, H.R. 1264.