If you are unfamiliar with the term “ableism”, it is a word, much like racism, that describes a societal condition that leads to the widespread discrimination and segregation, but in this case focused on those with a disability label. If ableism describes the culture that subjects people with disabilities to rejection, how do we analyze [...]
How often do we see it when we look back at our work year? Task forces created, planning groups assigned, attending meeting after meeting, writing goals and objectives, action plans, giving assignments, and then… and then… We look back, and then look around, and we notice that things are not really that different. It’s the [...]
The link mentioned at the end of this video is in the yellow block on the right at the TRN Web Site.
Agency-Owned Social Enterprises: Is It Draining Resources for Employment of People with Disabilities?
Come down to our ice cream shop! Your patronage supports jobs for the people with disabilities who work here!Hmmm. The idea of social enterprise is a wonderful concept. Having a business that incorporates diversity and funnels its profits into social causes, including supporting people with disabilities, has much potential. But here’s the problem. Agencies that [...]
The continuing controversy regarding using sub-minimum wage for workers with disabilities (using special worker certificates under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act) rages on. Use of this provision since 1938 has led to far too many examples of exploitation, artificially lowered wages, and poor employment outcomes. It needs to be phased out; review [...]
Over the last few years, the Employment First (EF) movement has taken off in nearly every state and several Canadian provinces. The clear intent of an EF movement is to make an individual, integrated, paid job the first option for individuals with disabilities receiving day services.This is no easy task for a service system that [...]
The following is a guest post by my colleague Bob Lawhead.– DaleOn April 8, 2014 the U.S. Department of Justice announced “a landmark settlement agreement between the United States and the state of Rhode Island, vindicating the civil rights of approximately 3,250 individuals across the state with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD).” This case constitutes [...]
In my speaking and writing, I often tout the need for services to be individualized, and take issue with the congregate models we generally see from agencies and schools in the forms of group homes, day programs, and classrooms. Often, there is pushback from families and providers. I frequently hear:- “What’s wrong with letting people [...]
In my previous post, commenters noted the benefits of my proposed supported employment process of Plan-Match-Support, but worried about a commonly reported hiring issue - the preference of employers to hire a person who can do multiple tasks. This perception can throw a roadblock into hiring a worker with a disability who might be considered [...]
When supported employment first challenged the status quo of sheltered work over 25 years ago, the mantra was that it represented a shift in thinking. It was a movement away from Train and Place to its opposite, Place, then Train. That pithy quote helped to convey and crystallize the philosophical evolution taking place. Waiting to [...]
Like a two-sided coin, the advocacy movement of Employment First has two core linked components. The first side is about ending obsolete practices – to phase out the needless segregation, less-than-minimum wages, and limited work tasks given to people with disabilities that make up much of sheltered work. The second side is to provide a system that [...]
Having just returned from speaking at a Transition Conference in Illinois, I was encouraged by how much enthusiasm the transition teachers there brought to learning about community employment. They took furious notes during my opening. And my breakout session, which focused on job development tools, had to be moved to accommodate everyone. The comment I [...]
Over the last year, I've been in front of numerous audiences to discuss the concept of Employment First and the need to phase out facility-based sheltered workshops. I don't make the argument lightly. It is a wholesale change of focus for many. It uproots individuals from their comfort zone. It is threatening to agencies and [...]
Recruiting for an Intensive Behavioral Group HomeHaving visited and consulted with many disability employment organizations over the years, I believe the single skill most in need of training is in the area of marketing and job development. A major component of job development is the communication that agencies do within their communities. Marketing is all [...]
Earlier this summer, the NBC's news show, Rock Center, aired a critical examination of some Goodwill agencies paying workers with disabilities wages as low as 22 cents per hour. Some viewers responded with outrage; others defended the practice as necessary. Readers of this blog will know that I have presented several arguments as to why [...]
This week, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) reached a landmark settlement based on the conclusion that the state of RI and the city of Providence failed to provide services to individuals with developmental disabilities in the most integrated setting, and were putting students in a school transition program at risk of unnecessary segregation in [...]
Can we realize a future where people with disabilities get the help they need without being segregated in a classroom, work facility, or group living?
The state of Oregon, like it or not, will have a spotlight shining on it as it plans the future of employment services for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (ID/DD). Like most states, Oregon spends the large majority of its employment service dollars ($30 million a year) for individuals with disabilities to be in sheltered workshops. [...]
Several issues reside in the heated discussions over the need to change the traditional day service model for people with disabilities. But the defining one relates to competing beliefs about productivity: Can individuals with the most significant disabilities be productive in the workplace, such that sub-minimum wage is unnecessary? Those in the individualized community employment sector, myself included, [...]
"Really, an astronaut?" Sometimes dream jobs expressed by job seekers with disabilities, especially those entering the employment arena for the first time, can be challenging for professionals to hear. But an element of good career planning includes the ability to be open to possibilities and what they might mean, even those that seem [...]