Mannion has highlighted direct support professionals

Originally published in Buffalo News on May 09, 2022.

Rarely does an elected representative step into a leadership position and help positively influence the direction of an entire system. Well it happened this past two years in the New York State Legislature. Sen. John Mannion, current chair of the Senate Committee on Disability and a representative of the Syracuse area did just that. Through his hearings, bills, and advocacy he has clearly gotten the attention of our governor, Kathy Hochul, and other elected officials to help see that individuals like our son, Craig, who has intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are not left behind like so many years before.
Mannion has helped to raise public awareness of the value of direct support professionals (DSPs) and need for them to get a cost of living adjustment, help the education system that provides support to students with special education needs attain parity, “853” and “4410” schools, and much more.
Having an opportunity to meet with him recently at a rally for DSPs in Albany, we are convinced he is the real deal. It is heartening to see an elected official display such passion in a person of influence and authority. As advocates and parents, we are grateful for his leadership and dedication to helping individuals with I/DD be recognized as important and deserving of governmental help to assure they can live their best lives.
Max and Joyce Donatelli