Category Archives: Sheltered Workshops

More Choices: Let Your Voice Be Heard

We’ve talked about sub-minimum wages and the debate surrounding so called “sheltered workshops” several times. We settled on a position that acknowledges the needs of adults with Down syndrome and their caregivers:

More Choices

The good news is that there is a new online information gathering tool sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.

It’s called the Section 14(c) National Online Dialogue.

The website includes basic information about the rule that allows some employers to pay sum-minimum wages.

Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act

Since 1938, Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act has authorized employers, after receiving a certificate from WHD, to pay wages that are less than the Federal minimum wage to workers who have disabilities for the work being performed.

Employers must have an authorizing certificate from the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor and pay is based on individual productivity.

The site is open to all stakeholders including “individuals with disabilities, their families, providers, disability organizations, employers, researchers, and other(s).

“The goal of this online dialogue is to capture perspectives about Section 14(c) based on individual input from those “on the ground.”

Once you have registered you can give feedback in one or all of the three topics.

  • Use of Section 14(c) certificates and observed trends
  • Experiences transitioning from the use of Section 14(c) certificates
  • Vision for the future of work and workplaces; the landscape over the next five to ten years

We hope all families who have experience with this type of employment will step up and let their voices be heard about the benefit of having more choices when it comes to employment.

Visit the online dialog at

The site opened Monday, May 20th. We’d love to hear about your experience with the site!

#MoreChoices #UseYourVoice #BeHeard


Missouri Families and Lawmakers Fight to Save Sheltered Workshops

M is for Missouri on the #AtoZChallenge by The Road We've Shared

A new Missouri state resolution reaffirms the state’s support of sheltered workshops after disabled people and their families band together to “protect the right to choose sheltered employment as a valuable work choice.”

Continue reading Missouri Families and Lawmakers Fight to Save Sheltered Workshops

Why Success in Vermont May Not Translate to Other States

An article about Vermont’s closing sheltered workshops has been making the rounds in social media lately.  It’s a very well written piece – but one that has an obvious agenda:  Make people believe that Vermont provides proof that sheltered workshops should be eliminated everywhere.

While I applaud the author for addressing the topic, I have a problem with how it can be (and apparently is being) misconstrued.

Continue reading Why Success in Vermont May Not Translate to Other States

Sheltered Workshops and Light Reading

Hello Friends,

A few days ago President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.  If you’re interested in a PDF of the bill summary, just let me know and I’ll shoot you a copy.

I wrote a brief post here on The Road We’ve Shared about a month ago about Sheltered Workshops and it can be found here.

This week I  posted a more complete rant, as I lovingly call it, in three parts. 

1)      Why Sheltered Workshops Work?

2)      What Forces People Into Sheltered Workshops?

3)      What is the Answer to the Sheltered Workshop Question?

Well, that’s enough light reading for today J Please do keep us at The Road in the loop of what you know and learn and also please share any way/where you think we should be adding a voice. 

And remember that all points of view are respected and valued here on The Road. 

I guess it’s time for me jump into the sheltered workshops discussion


Ok – so I’m late to the party. I know. I’ve been watching and chewing and watching and reading and frankly I’m overwhelmed by

1) The conflicting output of regulations from state to state to federal to state
2) The many overgeneralizations about both workshops and the clients who choose this option
3) The lack of compassion for those who actually appreciate the role of
sheltered workshops
4) The lack of communication with those most vulnerable and
5) My own insignificance.

The mandates begun from state to state are similar, but not the same. In my home state of Nebraska, change is still  pulsing under the current and as yet has not crashed upon us. However, now that the federal government is involved, change is more than an undercurrent.

Continue reading I guess it’s time for me jump into the sheltered workshops discussion