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Monday, April 15, 2013

Update on Sheltered Workshops in Oregon

A previous post discussed a suit against sheltered workshops in OregonThe Oregonian reports:
Gov. John Kitzhaber on Thursday announced plans to move more Oregonians with severe disabilities into the general workforce and gradually decrease state funding to nonprofit sheltered workshops.

The governor, facing a class-action lawsuit by critics of the workshops, issued an executive order affirming Oregon's plan to help the disabled find and keep jobs in mainstream workplaces.

A key goal of the state's Employment First plan is to halt a cycle in which special education students graduate high school and immediately take jobs in sheltered workshops that, by U.S. law, are allowed to pay less than the federal minimum wage.

Kitzhaber also announced he was appointing Mike Maley, deputy director of the state's Office of Developmental Disabilities Services, as Oregon's first Statewide Employment Coordinator for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Maley, a lifelong Oregonian who has spent his career working with the disabled, will help implement the executive order.