Join RCPA and its members for a virtual rally on Labor Day (Monday, September 2) to advocate for increased funding for intellectual disability and autism (ID/A) services to help raise wages for Direct Support Professionals (DSP) and Front Line Supervisors (FLS). The Labor Day Virtual Rally is kicking off our advocacy efforts for the FY 20/21 Pennsylvania Budget. We are advocating to Governor Wolf and our legislators to include funding in the budget to raise DSP and FLS wages by $1.50 and reduce the wait list for services.
What is a virtual rally? A rally is when a group of people congregate in support of a certain cause, typically a political one. A virtual rally is the same, but instead of congregating somewhere in person like the Capitol steps, we’re congregating on social media! Just like an in-person rally, make signs, take pictures, post them on social media, and get lawmakers’ attention by tagging your legislator and the governor!
Guidelines for Providers: We are asking each provider to develop a few posts on Labor Day (September 2). These can be scheduled ahead of time or posted the day of. Photos of the individuals you support and DSPs working with them throughout the day and photos of people holding homemade rally signs are encouraged! Signs can say things like “Raise DSP Wages,” “We Work 365/24/7,” and “Support Me Support DSPs,” but creativity is also encouraged!
Tag Governor Wolf and your legislators; you can look up their social media information here. You can also tag your employer. Use the hashtag: #SupportMeSupportDSPs.
We are asking each provider to get 3–5 DSPs who are working on Labor Day to commit to posting a selfie on the day of the rally to their personal page! Make sure that you talk with each DSP you choose about your social media policy so they know what they can and can’t post on their social media. For example, most providers do not allow employees to take photos with individuals or with any identifying information in the photo (such as address and medical information). See more guidelines below.
For the rest of your staff, the individuals you support, and their family members, please encourage them to share posts from your organization’s page on the day of the virtual rally and also add their own story to the post.
We also encourage the executive of the organization to post a supporting message on the day of this event, either from their personal account or on the company account! Use the hashtag: #SupportMeSupportDSPs
Use the Virtual Rally photo frame (download it here).
Guidelines for DSPs (who are working on Labor Day and selected by employer to post a picture):
- Make sure you understand and adhere to your organization’s social media policy. Do not post pictures of the individuals you support if it is against your organization’s social media policy. Once you know the do’s and don’ts of your organization’s social media policy, be creative! For example, you could post a selfie on the way to work and the way home from work (please, not while driving).
- Make sure you note in the post that you are a Direct Support Professional (DSP) and talk about what you do. Many of your followers on social media may not know what a DSP is; this is your opportunity to educate them about what you do! Try to show the range and depth of the services you provide for people with ID/A. Talk about how your job has positively impacted you, and also talk about the challenges you face.
Contact Carol Ferenz, RCPA IDD Division Director, with questions.