Services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are primarily funded through state and federal tax dollars. That is true at Emmaus and other local non-profit organizations that provide services to people with developmental disabilities.

Each year, during the Missouri state legislative session, our elected officials work on the following year’s state budget. During that time, they are faced with important decisions regarding how to best allocate state funding.

It is common for budget decisions to be made based on the concern of their constituents or voters. In other words, if you are a Missouri State Representative, and you receive several phone calls, emails, and letters from your voters focused on one single issue, you are probably going to pay attention and take action.

That is why we advocate! When we join our voices together, it shines a spotlight on the issues that are most important to us!

For the past several years, Emmaus advocates have been raising concern about the serious shortage of high-quality Direct Support Professionals. Year after year, we’ve been lifting up this issue, insisting that this crisis receives the attention it deserves.

And that advocacy is working! This year, Governor Parson has recommended a HUGE investment in services for Missourians with intellectual and developmental disabilities, which includes a sizable increase to raise wages for all DSPs!

This is a HISTORIC step that will help us stabilize our workforce, recruit new team members, and support people with disabilities. But this is only the beginning of a months-long appropriations process. It’s up to Emmaus advocates to continue to urge our legislators to support the Governor’s plan. Governor Parson will sign the budget into law in June, and we need your help to continue advocating for our clients.

We encourage all our team members to join us in our work to advocate for better rates on behalf of our clients. Please consider contacting your elected officials to share your story about the clients you serve and the critical services you provide for them. We work with partners across the state to promote disability rights and ensure sustainable funding of our services.

For more information about how you can help, please contact Austin Hayden, Advocacy Coordinator, at (317) 902 -2078 or by email at You can also find more information about our advocacy efforts at the button below.

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