Easton Coach officials say the pandemic has caused a shortage in paratransit drivers in the Lehigh Valley.

Seth Hederowski with Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living says a driver shortage is just the tip of the iceberg. He says that nationwide, disability service providers are dealing with a much larger staffing crisis.

It's a crisis that's growing faster than positions can be filled.

"People end up sitting at home and doing nothing, and why shouldn't people with disabilities be out working and why shouldn't they be out be taking part in the rest of life like everybody else?" Hederowski said.

Karen Shoemaker with Arc of Lehigh and Northampton Counties says employers are getting creative with scheduling and hiring practices in order to meet the growing demand.

"We did a survey and looked at what the starting wage is for our direct support professional and made a change to that to increase that. We're also doing referral bonuses for our staff so that if they refer somebody to us, and those are things that we haven't done before," Shoemaker said.

Officials say there are jobs at every level available. For information and qualifications needed, people can check out their websites.

"Working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is just an extremely rewarding career,"  Shoemaker said.

DISCLAIMER FOR COMMENTS: The views expressed by public comments are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the TERMS OF USE and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Your comments may be used on air. Be polite. Inappropriate posts or posts containing offsite links, images, GIFs, inappropriate language, or memes may be removed by the moderator. Job listings and similar posts are likely automated SPAM messages from Facebook and are not placed by WFMZ-TV.