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They deserve a choice!

Thank you for organizing this website where people can speak up. I have worked at a “sheltered workshop” for 36 years and currently run a Wood Products Division. It has always been our goal to provide training in both social and vocational skills to our ID/DD clients with every intention of assisting them to achieve jobs in the community. I have witnessed a lot of clients leaving here and continuing to be successful in community jobs for many years. I have always considered that to be the best part of my job here…watching people grow and learn, enriching their lives…even the people who have not been able to obtain jobs in the community. Those people still feel a sense of pride in having a job working 25 hours per week and earning a paycheck while also having a social life at the same time. We all have a choice in what we want to do with our lives. Why should they be any different? It’s going to be difficult (and in a lot of cases…impossible) to find jobs at minimum wage for people who are only able to work at low productivity levels and have the need for bathroom assistance. What employer will hire them, pay minimum wage and assist them with their special needs? Government officials are not looking at the big picture. Instead they are basing all of their decisions from hearing about some “sheltered workshops” that are poorly run and taking advantage of people with disabilities. They should be closing those facilities down, and rather look at all the operations that are doing everything in their power to assist the ID/DD people to develop to their highest potential and achieve fulfilling lives (our mission statement). A lot of these special people will not be able to find a job that they can succeed in and will end up sitting at home without a social life once again. It’s like we are reverting back to what it was like before “sheltered workshops” came to be! It is very sad and depressing and worst of all, it is going to hurt and disappoint a lot of people who the government think they will be helping! Don’t take THEIR choice of what THEY WANT to do with their life away from them!!!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.familiesspeakingup.com/2014/05/14/they-deserve-a-choice/

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