conversion

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Perpetual Planning Syndrome: Don’t Confuse the Plan with the Action

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 [...]

By | 2017-05-18T15:42:50+00:00 April 9th, 2015|conversion|0 Comments

The Two Sides of the Employment First Coin

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 [...]

By | 2017-05-18T15:42:56+00:00 December 2nd, 2013|conversion, sheltered workshops, supported employment|13 Comments

Sheltered Work Phasing Out in Rhode Island; Will Your State Host the Next Olmstead Investigation?

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 [...]

The Good, Bad and Ugly: Trying to End Obsolete Sheltered Work in Oregon

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. [...]

By | 2017-05-18T15:43:01+00:00 April 30th, 2013|conversion, sheltered workshops, supported employment|2 Comments

Low Productivity: More of An Excuse than Obstacle to Real Work

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, [...]

The Problem with Pro-Inclusion but Not Anti-Segregation

I recently gave a speech at a conference, and afterwards was approached by an individual who had a pointed criticism of my talk. "I support your message of inclusion, but why do you have to argue against facilities? Most of us work in these places. They will eventually change and workshops and day programs will [...]

By | 2017-05-18T15:43:03+00:00 January 28th, 2013|conversion, segregation|11 Comments

Attention Workshops: The ADA Integration Mandate Applies to You

Employment services are included in the integration mandate of the ADA! This recent ruling in Oregon by United States Magistrate Judge Janice Stewart is a huge landmark decision. It should cheer advocates who are working to slow and eventually end the growing numbers of people with disabilities needlessly spending their days in segregated sheltered workshops.Similar [...]

A Response to ACCSES: We Believe NDRN is On the Mark Regarding the Need to End Segregation and Exploitation

Open Response Letter Regarding ACCSES Response to the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) ReportMembers of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions:In an April 16, 2012 letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, ACCSES CEO Terry Farmer writes "strong opposition to the recommendations made by the National Disability Rights [...]

By | 2017-05-18T15:43:07+00:00 April 25th, 2012|conversion, segregation, sheltered workshops|9 Comments

The Top 5 Reasons Why We Haven’t Yet Ended Disability Segregation

1. Fear of Change There is a big, obsolete, but functioning service structure out there, with people in jobs, agencies owning buildings, policies about how to get in and out of them, and billions of dollars to make it work. It's a giant game of mousetrap, easily able to fail when one part breaks, but [...]

By | 2017-05-18T15:43:08+00:00 April 11th, 2012|conversion, institutions, segregation|2 Comments

A Bellwether? Oregon Sued for Reliance on Sheltered Workshops

Last month, UCP Oregon/SW Washington, with the help of Disability Rights Oregon, filed a class action lawsuit challenging Oregon’s failure to provide supported employment services to more than 2,300 of its residents who are segregated in sheltered workshops. The suit says people are "stuck in long-term, dead-end facilities that offer virtually no interaction with non-disabled [...]

By | 2017-05-18T15:43:09+00:00 February 8th, 2012|conversion, segregation, sheltered workshops|4 Comments

The 80-20 Rule and A Call to Freeze Referrals to Sheltered Work

The Pareto Principle is a well known economic theory that can be applied to a lot of situations. It goes something like this: about 80% of effectiveness is driven by just 20% of our activity. This distribution has also been found to relate to how a small number of people control 80% of the wealth. [...]

Discarding An Old Narrative: Shine a Light on Indignity

Some 30 years ago, some new and innovative approaches were developed to help people with disabilities lead better lives. They involved ideas such as normalization, social inclusion, individualized planning, and supported employment and supported living. These concepts were all based on focusing on the individual and not the disability, and each brought new ways of [...]

By | 2017-05-18T15:43:11+00:00 October 20th, 2011|conversion, segregation, sheltered workshops|3 Comments

The Fallacy of the “Choice Argument”: Most People in Sheltered Workshops Want a Job

Despite numerouse national and state policies promoting integrated employment, 76% of adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities are served in facility-based, segregated programs - usually work activity centers or sheltered workshops. Whenever advocates talk about closing a sheltered workshop so the people there can get real jobs, the argument of choice is raised. "But this [...]

By | 2017-05-18T15:43:17+00:00 April 3rd, 2007|choice, conversion, segregation, sheltered workshops|4 Comments