• Vidi

    This is a tricky issue. While disabled people who perform the same job as their peers in the workforce should definitely be paid the same wage as their peers, the argument changes a bit when we include the more severely disabled in the equation, more specifically the developmentally disabled. .Currently, it is very difficult to find them jobs in sheltered workshops. Raising the subminimum wage for them might be devastating.

  • AudreyA

    The elimination of the sub-minimum wage does not create jobs for the disabled. Instead, it will end the employment of many thousands of happily employed people with intellectual disabilities. Current law is clear and should not be changed; if a person can do a job at the same level of productivity as a person without disabilities, it is completely illegal to pay a sub-minimum wage. The wage is only allowed for people who cannot work at the same level of productivity and therefore cannot compete for a job with the
    non-disabled population. The needs of the physically disabled are different from those with intellectual
    disabilities. I’ve heard of cases like the young man in a wheelchair who are frustrated that the ONLY place that would even remotely consider hiring them is a group employment center. Lashing out and attacking the only place that offered him a job doesn’t solve anything–it only hurts other members of the disabled community. In Maine they shut down all the centers and instead tried to find people work at regular jobs; after a year, fully 70% are now left at home isolated with nothing to do at all. Before they had jobs they liked, jobs that provided structure and purpose to their days, daily interaction with their community and friends, but now they have nothing. My son works at a model group employment center and he not only loves his work, he doesn’t want to work anywhere else, despite the low pay. Some of his friends who had regular jobs also are quite adamant that they want to work at the center instead. And shame on self-appointed advocates for deciding they know what is best for my son and his friends without bothering toask them or the families who love them.

    • Teresa Thoroughman

      I totally agree. My son is at the point now, He is leaving High School. I just had a meeting with the DD Board about employment. He is not able to be in the Community Employment Program, because of his physical disability, due to needing help with everything, from toileting and getting around in his wheelchair. He is also nonverbal, you cannot keep his attention on things for very long. He can do things, but it takes longer and needs assistance. They say he can go to day hab to learn skills, but that also takes funds that have been cut by the state. We are waiting to see what will happen. Guessing he will be homebound, due to he is not employable in the community at minimum wage, and that is a shame, because he is very independent in some things and will just be left to felling worthless. At least with the little he would have gotten, he could have his SSI and still felt like he was contributing and feeling worthwhile. He communicates with an electronic device.I am in Ohio.

  • Bonnie Lee-Dubois

    In Maine, if those who receive sheltered workshop monies, made minimum wage, they would lose their disability monies