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Massachusetts Ends Sheltered Workshops, Sets Promising Model

As part of the Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination, one of the issues that we at the NFXF have been concerned about is sheltered workshops and how they keep individuals out of integrated work environments.

Massachusetts is taking a progressive approach to the issue that is worth a look. The state says there will be no new admissions to sheltered work as of January 1, 2014 and also stated the intent to end all sheltered workshop services in 2015. 1

It appears that Massachusetts is committed to the flexibility needed to address the concerns of those families who feel that sheltered workshops provide the only option for them.

Here are three unique and very positive aspects of the state’s effort:

.    Their commitment to families to maintain the same level of activity

.    Their commitment to providers to fund the costs of transitioning to another way of doing business.

.    The partnership between the provider association and the state agency which includes mutual respect and true professional collaboration.

This could be an interesting national model. We’ll continue to follow and see where it takes them.

http://www.addp.org/images/Nov2013Conference/blueprint%20for%20success%20full%20version%20final%2011.6.13.pdf

Author

Jeffrey Cohen is the Interim Executive Director of the NFXF. He has previously served as a member of the NFXF Board of Directors as well as the director of government affairs and advocacy. He has 2 children living with fragile X syndrome.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.familiesspeakingup.com/2013/11/18/massachusetts-ends-sheltered-workshops-sets-promising-model/

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