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Edelsohn: Letter to the News Journal Editor RE: Sheltered Workshop Article

Don’t spin closing sheltered workshops

As a longtime advocate for people with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities, I applaud Beth Miller and the News Journal for covering the employment crisis for this population. My husband and I have worked hard and effectively to secure meaningful jobs for people with disabilities in the so-called “mainstream workplace.”

We all know finding work today, even for the most qualified of applicants, is not easy. Those with more significant challenges may not be best suited for competitive employment positions in the community. Preserving their choice of a sheltered workshop may in fact provide the least restrictive and most appropriate job placement. No one, ever, should be placed in a work environment that is not suited to their abilities. If the pay scale is broken, fix it. Why should we ever “be ready” to close something that works for those who choose to be, and are properly recommended to be, placed therein?

My view of civil rights is that every person matters, deserves the chance to work to the best of their ability and enjoy the dignity of having a job. Shame on us if we try to spin the closing of sheltered workshop as “expanding choices” for the most vulnerable of our population.

Micki Edelsohn

Permanent link to this article: http://www.familiesspeakingup.com/2012/11/13/edelsohn-letter-to-the-editor/

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