Many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and those that serve them viewed Gov. Mike Parson’s 2020 State of the State address with great anticipation.

Missouri currently provides 24-hour support and services to over 7,500 people with significant disabilities. A workforce of more than 15,000 Missourians provides these services. This workforce is overworked and underpaid. More than 52 percent access publicly funded services themselves, work multiple jobs and leave their jobs at alarming rates with the average turnover for a direct support position at 56%. There is a serious and acute crisis in the system of support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Organizations like Easterseals who serves more than 5,000 Missourians annually applaud Gov. Parson’s proposed budget, in which he recommends some investment toward solving the problem for organizations like ours and the people we support.

Our governor understands. He is a true champion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism.

We are confident that he will work with us to solve our workforce crisis and provide stability to children and adults with these disabilities in Missouri. We are so pleased to see him prioritize this crucial issue in his budget proposal.

Wendy Sullivan,

Easterseals Midwest, chief executive officer

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