[nfbmi-talk] Fw: Editorial: Doubly Disabled in Life

joe harcz Comcast joeharcz at comcast.net
Thu Apr 17 17:33:14 UTC 2014

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jones, Robin" <guiness at uic.edu>
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2014 1:30 PM
Subject: Editorial: Doubly Disabled in Life

> The following article is forwarded to you by the Great Lakes ADA Center 
> (www.adagreatlakes.org) for your information. The opinions expressed in 
> this editorial are not binding on the Great Lakes ADA Center or our 
> funding agency.
> New York Times
> Editorial
> April 11, 2014
> Doubly Disabled in Life
> Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities historically 
> have been shuttled far from society’s mainstream into segregated lives and 
> workplace serfdom, earning wages as low as pennies per hour for the most 
> repetitive and menial jobs. The Supreme Court in 1999 pronounced this kind 
> of treatment a civil rights violation under the Americans With 
> Disabilities Act, but abuse and isolation from society have continued to 
> this day.
> This week, Rhode Island and the Justice Department took an important step 
> away from that pattern by reaching a comprehensive agreement to direct 
> these people toward community living, minimum-wage guarantees and 
> competitive opportunities.
> The agreement, a consent decree between state and federal officials 
> announced in Providence, will help some 2,000 developmentally disabled 
> Rhode Islanders obtain community-based jobs over the next decade while 
> 1,250 students with disabilities will receive training for placement in 
> more competitive workplaces. It could serve as a model for the treatment 
> of the nation’s 450,000 developmentally disabled, who are still largely 
> kept in state-run sheltered workshops and segregated day care programs.
> According to federal investigators, only 5 percent of the state’s 
> developmentally disabled youngsters are currently guided into integrated 
> job settings after high school. Most of the rest have been shunted into 
> programs — paid for with government money — that offer no opportunities 
> for learning or advancement. Federal investigators examining these 
> programs have also found widespread abuse of a federal law that allows 
> sub-minimum wages for the severely disabled but not for those capable of 
> doing more. Some of the people in Rhode Island, for example, earned $1.57 
> an hour for stultifying work like sorting buttons, even though they were 
> found to be suited to more varied and challenging work.
> A recent report in The Times laid bare the neglect and abuse of the 
> developmentally disabled, chronicling the lives of a group of men who 
> spent more than 30 years eviscerating turkeys at an obscure Iowa factory. 
> In return, they got room, board and $65 a month. Advocates finally 
> succeeded last year in winning a lawsuit to recover damages and decades of 
> back pay.
> The need to end the economic servitude and social exile of people with 
> disabilities has long been clear. The Providence agreement is a promising 
> but overdue starting point.
> Source: 
> http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/12/opinion/doubly-disabled-in-life.html

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