Policy Research Brief: Wages of Direct Support Professionals Serving Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities - A Survey of State Agencies and Private Residential Provider Trade Associations

Part of the Policy Research Brief series.
Barbara Polister, Charlie Lakin, Bob Prouty
Managing Editor(s)
Charlie Lakin, Vicki D Gaylord
Christen L Opsal


A brief summarizing the results of a survey of state agencies administering services for persons with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) and state-level residential service provider trade associations. The purpose of the survey was to gather and summarize available state-level information on wages paid to direct support professionals (DSPs) within each of the states. (DSPs are the individuals who provide the ongoing person-to-person support needed by people with ID/DD to carry out their daily activities.) In addition to wage statistics, the survey also gathered information on legislative and other initiatives within the states to affect DSP wages. Data collection included a brief survey to which key informants responded via mail or by telephone interview. Reports related to DSP wages, legislation, and other documents related to wage policy or related initiatives were also obtained and abstracted.

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March 2003 
Volume 14, Number 2
Research and Training Center on Community Living (RTC-CL)


  • Direct support workforce
    • Human resources and management
    • Workforce development strategies
  • Specific disability
    • Intellectual/developmental disability (IDD)