On April 25th, several individuals and staff from WCI went to the State House on behalf of The Caring Force sponsored by the MA Provider’s Council. Michael Weekes, Executive Director of the Council, thanked two Caring Bear Award recipients, Speaker Robert DeLeo of the House and Senator Linda Dorcena Forry for their support of human services. Speaker DeLeo spoke to his and the House’s support of the FY’18 Budget for next year for Human Services and especially for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Senator Forry pronounced her support of the three Workforce Bills to support community human service workers. They are:
- S540 and H1408 which would allow human services workers and organizations access to the GIC (State Health Insurance program).
- S42 and H116, which would create a student loan repayment plan for low-paid human services workers.
- S47 and H3150, which would eliminate the pay disparity between state workers and non-profit human services workers doing similar jobs.
Michael Maloney, the emcee, spoke to the amazing work that our Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) do each and every day to support individuals with intellectual disabilities, autism, acquired brain injury, children and the elderly. Our staff do incredible work to support people with disabilities, to assist them to shop, cook, manage their money, develop hobbies, friends, be an active member of the community, provide medical treatment and administer complex medication, teach communication, self-advocacy and other life skills.
At the State House from WCI, we had Greg Chludzinski, Employment Manager with Aditya K. and Paul G.; Georges Louissant, Employment Specialist, with Alison K. and Melissa B. along with Manny Rodriguez, Employment Specialist, Robin D., Aida C. and Richard S. Vice President of Operations Joe Donati and President & CEO Nancy Silver Hargreaves led the way to Representative Thomas Stanley’s and Senator Michael Barrett’s Office. Representative Stanley stood and spoke to us for a while about the bills and his support. Senator Barrett’s office also spent time with us learning what we do and hearing how the bills can help our DSPs. Senator Barrett is working on a similar Health Care Bill. We spent time explaining the importance of the three above bills and the importance and types of work each person does.
This was a great event and experience for people to see the State House and meet their Representative and Senator.
Nancy Silver Hargreaves, President & CEO