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For decades, facilities where people with disabilities do basic jobs while separated from non-disabled workers were praised for providing those with developmental disabilities opportunities to learn skills and build friendships.

But in recent years, increasing numbers of people, including disability rights advocates and federal officials, have raised concerns that many of these nonprofit training programs, known as “sheltered workshops,” keep disabled workers trapped in low-wage jobs — often making $2 to $3 an hour — and fail to help them move on to higher-paying opportunities in the private or public sectors.

Ken Notes: I have worked with these programs for 20+ years and know that these workshops are dedicated to providing the best opportunity they can for their clients. Many work to place clients in the private sector, but for many that is just not an option. We need to reach out and get involved before we point fingers. The work people do in this field is a gift to society.

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- - Volume: 2 - WEEK: 40 Date: 9/30/2014 1:52:36 PM -