Experiences transitioning from the use of Section 14(c) certificates

14C sells us short; Money is better spent on our children

I am disheartened and appalled after having read the comments of similar parents with intellectually disabled adults. My 34-year-old daughter was in a 14C facility for 10 years. Her intellectual functioning is about 2d grade. I was told since she was born about all the things she could not do. I finally decided that I did not want her going to the same place, with the same people, doing the same thing for 40 years. If she did not leave, she would not be able to participate fully in life. She did not want to leave because she loved the facility and her friends. It was scary for both of use. But, after my insistence single-handedly, she has been in a job that she has learned to love in a retail setting. Her co-workers are delightful with her; she makes more than minimum wage; she sees friends at work and in the community. In her 34 years, I have known only about a dozen of her acquaintances who could not get community-based jobs, and I think this was because of emotional or mental health problems and not their intellectual disabilities. It is extremely difficult to pry our children out of these 14C facilities, but the benefit is worth it. The business model of these facilities is to keep disabled workers. Otherwise, they will not be able to function. Having looked at the IRS 990 forms for many of the 14C organizaitons in NJ, I was appalled that many of them pay their CEOs over $150,000. This is not something that our tax dollars should support. This money is better spent on finding jobs, keeping jobs and job coaching so that our children can be exposed to a real life and not a sheltered, limiting life.

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Idea No. 277