Maine Department of Health and Human Services developed its first Vocational Policy in 2000 that stated a requirement for service providers to move toward integrated, community-based employment at or above minimum wage. This policy provided guidance and opportunities for people in sheltered workshops to receive support and assistance to move toward supported employment. During the next 8 years the Developmental Services office would work with its partners to develop competencies for employment specialists, expand employment services available to people with intellectual disabilities through its 1915 C waivers and partner with the Bureau of Rehabilitation and Service Providers to support over 800 people with ID/DD or Autism to move into community-based employment and community supports. In July of 2008 The Department stopped the state funding of sheltered workshop and replaced it with a new Support Waiver allowing for access to Work Supports after placement in a job in the community at or above minimum wage. As of May 2019, Maine has NO individuals with disabilities being paid under a 14C certificate. The belief that all individuals deserve real wages for real work is a cornerstone of policy and practice at the now Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS). Individuals with disabilities receiving services through OADS are assisted on a pathway to employment that supports competitive wages in Maine businesses that value their skills and abilities.
Idea No. 2284