After finding employment for persons with disabilities for 15 years, I have more observations than answers. While I believe everyone can work, my experience shows many of them will only be physically or emotionally able to work very limited hours. Which leaves many hours unfulfilled. Unless funding for services to support fuller lives in the community increase, eliminating Section 14(c) certificate holders altogether will greatly injure many of them, as well as their families. Who will then have to sacrifice their own jobs and income to provide the same training and enrichment that a well-run facility can provide. This must be a comprehensive transition. This means allowing Persons with Disabilities more choices while legislating more community based supports and fostering organizations that can provide the added supports they need in the community. In rural areas, this can be an especially difficult challenge. Such a transition might logically allowing those who most benefit from a center based approach and who "choose" this as part of their full life, to have that choice. There are ways to determine who these people are. Depending on their own situations, and the resources available to them.
There have been abuses in every area of care. And there exist ways to end and prevent it. Strengthen them, if need be. One size does not fit all. With tremendous effort, team work and dedication, some facilities, who have community resources available, have been able to move toward community-based services, with some giving up their Section 149c) certificates entirely. However, many of them have struggled financially and even gone under (especially in rural areas), as funds are insufficient to provide essential services in the community, like programming and transportation.