Developmentally disabled individuals range widely in physical and mental capabilities. There cannot be "one size fits all" mentality, whether we are looking at their work options or their living options. What is best for those with higher functioning abilities is often not at all best for those with more limiting disabilities. The sheltered workshop options are all that many individuals will be able to master. It is wrong to remove this as an option. It would look like discrimination. Imagine someone with a broken leg being forced to run in a race with those with both legs. That's what it looks like if we say that individuals must compete in the work force. Some will be able to, some will want to, some will be able with training and supports. But many will not be able at all. This would severely impact their quality of life. Our organization opposes the repeal or phasing out of 14c for these reasons. We advocate for and support a number of individuals who would be impacted by such legislation, who are currently able to be productive, contributing, happy individuals due in part to 14c.
These work programs our clients participate in are professional businesses, managed well, clean, jobs are broken down into steps where even more disabled individuals are able to perform meaningful work. Staff support is imperative for these individuals to succeed. Observing their productivity and earning their own paycheck is a huge part of making their life to thrive! Please look into our concerns for these decisions will affect many lives now and far into the future. (Most of whom cannot speak for themselves)
Thank you for your attention to our concerns.