Georgia Direct Support Professionals Council



About the Georgia DSP Council

Why a Statewide DSP Council?

  • Retention and recruitment of DSP’s will not be solved on any scale without a living wage for DSP’s which can best be spoken to by the DSP’s working in the field.
  • Having representation from DSP’s on a council will lead to better services for the people we support, as research shows us high DSP turnover leads to fewer achieved outcomes for the people, we support experiencing disabilities.
  • Advocacy for more compensation for DSPs coming from a non-provider affiliated organization directly from DSP’s working in the field will be more persuasive & legitimate to State officials, legislators, and policy makers.
  • DSP’s have employment that is paid like entry level job, yet requires the skills, versatility, and responsibility of a professional careers.
  • A Council of DSP’s can bring information and perspective directly to the state without having to bring in providers or others as middleman.
GA DSP Council

Mission & Vision

  • Mission: The mission DSP council is to bring about social and policy changes that promote opportunities for DSP’s to earn a living wage, be recognized as a job classification, Advocate for safe work environments, advocate for benefits, Advocate for more than a living wage a middle-class wage. etc.
  • Vision: The vision of the DSP Council is a world with a highly qualified and professional direct support workforce. DSP Council works to elevate the status of direct support professionals by improving practice standards, promoting system reform, advocating for policy changes and advancing their knowledge, skills and values, training, professional development services.
Deborah Conway

Deborah Conway

Director of Advocacy


Debbie Conway is the Executive Director for Cross Plains Community Partner in Dalton, Georgia where she has served for the past 12 years. Debbie has worked in a variety of capacities for over 35 years providing supports to people with disabilities. She is a native of England, but has lived most of her adult life in Georgia. She is passionate about continuous learning and opportunities to be involved in work that creates and sustains a community where all people can live, work, and engage.

GA DSP Council Calendar of Events



NPR Story
14 years ago the federal minimum wage was raised to $7.25 an hour. It hasn’t changed

Advocacy Toolkits
ARC Policy & Advocacy Direct Support Professionals

Uniting for Change: Why Direct Support Professionals Matter

Issue paper on DSP recruitment and retention final

  • 2019 National Core Indicators Staff Stability Survey (National Core Indicators, 2020), the annual turnover rate across 3,604 providers in 26 states was 42.8% and the range among states was 23.8% to 64.8%.
  • With respect to salaries, data from the 2019 NCI Staff Stability Survey indicate that the median hourly wage for DSPs is $12.00, below the federal poverty level of $13.43 for a family of four
  • What Are Agencies Doing to Attract and Retain Staff Starting on (Page 7.)

ANCOR Celebrates the Advancement of Legislation to Recognize Direct Support Professionals on Anniversary of ADA

ISHAN NAYAK has had developmental disabilities since… birth.

3 minute video telling 1 DD story with Dianne talking about appropriate funding.

GA DSP Crisis
2-page paper scope or problem; Turnover, hourly pay, GA vs US.

Impact Volume 31, Number 1 Winter/Spring 2018.pdf

  • Page 5 US snapshot of the challenges for DSP workforce.
  • Page 16 Table 1: Direct Support Workers by Gender, Race, and Industry, 2005 to 2015

DSP Resource Guide

  • DSP Training and Informational Resources Directory
  • A tool for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and those who support people with disabilities

Online Chat: The I/DD Workforce Shortage in Georgia

  • Rita Young, Dianne, Carol, Robert
  • 08/2022

Find your Legislators

  • DSP Training and Informational Resources Directory
  • We encourage all DSP’s to build relationships with their elected officials. If you do not know your legislator, click the link below to visit Open States, enter your address, and find your legislator.

Tell Congress: Care Can’t Wait!