Stop the Closure of Sheltered Work Environments in New York State
Once again, programs and services for some of our most vulnerable citizens are on the chopping block. This time, New York State is looking to take away an important vocational option for individuals that require greater structure, supervision and individualization for vocational and pre-vocational training due to funding cuts.
We all strive for all people with developmental disabilities to live and work in the most inclusive and least restrictive environments. For many people with more severe and profound developmental disabilities, the pre-vocational, sheltered work environment is an important stepping stone to develop the skills that are needed for employment in the competitive work environment. Without this type of program, many people with developmental disabilities will have nowhere to go and nothing to fill their days.
If this option is taken away, we need to ask WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE THE 8,000 INDIVIDUALS WHO CURRENTLY WORK IN EMPLOYMENT CENTERS THROUGHOUT NEW YORK STATE - yes, actual employment centers - not segregated sweat shops, the vision of which uninformed individuals have developed.
We were told that this transformation will cost the state MORE money.
You will hear that "options" are being developed to transform these individuals out of workshops - Pathway to Employment, Community Habilitation, Volunteerism - NONE of these options provide a consistent, long term paid position for the individuals we serve in our employment centers. NONE of them provide the opportunity for some of the most challenged individuals to engage in a daily routine of getting up each day, traveling to work, engaging in constructive employment, socializing with friends, and MAKING A PAYCHECK, which makes the individuals we serve feel valued and INTEGRATED into the community.
We strongly recommend that legislative action be taken to PREVENT CLOSURES OF SHELTERED WORKSHOPS. Why create a more costly and ineffective system that uses more tax dollars to reap less benefit?
PLEASE HELP US TO SUPPORT THESE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE HAPPY AND GAINFULLY EMPLOYED. SIGN OUR PETITION TODAY.
A YouTube Video about the importance of our Sheltered Workshops: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77upfNc1A8c&feature=youtu.be