The entry below titled "My Daughter Used to Have a Job," says it all.
Sadly, the so-called "pro-choice" disability "advocates" - who know what is best for everyone - want to reduce choice by eliminating 14(c)?! Though they will say that is a false characterization, that is what it is, so let's call it what it is. Eliminating 14(c) will result in LESS work opportunities. Period. You don't need a fancy PhD to understand that.
As the guardian of a severely disabled family member -- I wholly support maintaining 14(c) and sheltered workshops. They do not "exploit," they provide opportunities. When you get rid of 14(c) and sheltered workshops, what happens to the MAJORITY of people who attended or worked under such programs? Answer: they do less, sometimes nothing! Congratulations advocates! Happy now with scores of people spending their day in front of a television? That's reality.
Are there occasional abuses? I am sure there are, but don't throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water. The vast majority of those working under 14(c) benefit from the program and are not "exploited." Leave it alone. The sad irony is if you get rid of 14(c) then the "abuses" will increase, as now the disabled will just do the same things on a "volunteer" basis since the providers can't afford to pay them $15/hour. Congratulations advocates!
This "debate" ultimately reflects a solution in search of a problem. The sad reality is many providers don't even use 14(c) anymore because the regulations -- bureaucracy -- are so cumbersome, it's not worth the hassle for many. So if anything we should be expanding 14(c) and making it easier to participate.
Plus, real simple: if anyone is being "exploited" under 14(c) by receiving a sub-minimum wage, then guess what: they can go get a "regular" job in the regular world free of the 14(c) restrictions. Nothing is stopping them. 99.9% of employers do NOT participate in 14(c), so go get a job with one of them. But what do we do: we shoot the 00.1% of employers who use 14(c) to help the disabled. We criticize those trying to help others. Only in America, where the road is paved with good intentions.
All said, this is another example of the Disability Industrial Complex run awry. If there remains any place for common sense, maintain 14(c). It is actually the right, moral, and practical thing to do, but only if your goal is actually to help the vast majority of disabled people.
University of Illinois (BS, 1990)
Harvard Law School (JD, 1994)