My niece is in this category and has been working in this sort of situation for years. One issue is that they try to avoid having her make too much money which could result in her losing some of her social security (as a disabled person) pay. The work started as part of a care program that helped get her out of the house and getting at least some training and structure and purpose. I am not discounting the many abuses in these scenarios- but her parents were really happy to have these options back in the 70s and 80s before regular businesses would consider higher someone with any disability.
It’s kind of like the issue with undocumented migrant workers or sweat shop employees. They’re happy to have a job because it’s a job and they are desperate for one, but it places them at the total mercy of their employer. If more places, not just jobs, were accessible and safe for people with disabilities there wouldn’t be so few options to get them out of the house. The way disabled people are gradually separated from society is a huge part of the problem (and our tacit acceptance that it must be that way), and the lack of support, and the laws about working, and marriage, and forced sterilization, etc.
Someone in my family has worked in these types of places (as a professional not a client) for a huge chunk of their career so I’ve heard a lot of horror stories. They’ve had to leave after whistleblowing like, several times. In different states, too! I think it also depends on the background of the client. A client who is dropped off and picked up by (white, middle class) mom and dad is going to get very different treatment than those who are coming in from a group home with no one looking out for them. A lot of it is financial abuse too, like employees stealing money that is meant to go to programs for clients. The whole thing is a mess.
Another analogy could be women making less than men! It’s like, “well she gets out of the house! she gets to have a job! why does she want more? why is she still complaining??” And it’s true that women being allowed to work or have a credit card was a HUGE step up! They weren’t even allowed to do those things before. But I think…that doesn’t mean we stop there or say it’s good enough. We keep pushing, we say, “sexual harassment isn’t ok in the workplace”, and “equal pay should be the norm,” and “making women wear skirts and heels and makeup isn’t ok,” and “having height requirements for secretaries isn’t ok,” and “firing a pregnant woman for being pregnant isn’t ok,” and “firing a woman because she won’t sleep with you isn’t ok,” etc. We keep pushing because it still isn’t just yet.
But with disability rights stuff there is very often the reminder that they’re lucky to have something, anything, even if non-disabled people wouldn’t accept it for themselves. I think that’s a key part of the problem because that’s where the mentality that justifies all of this (including income limits, etc.) is coming from. It comes up in conversations on disability rights a lot!
It feels like, “they’re lucky to get anything because we could easily give them nothing like we used to.” If that makes sense? I hope that’s cogent!
progress is definitely slow, and some of my family’s feelings about this may be based on there being nothing like that not long before. Kind of like “A Christmas Carol” ‘Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?’
Now I frequently see people working in various places, often at a regional grocery chain or fast food restaurant. This may be a corporate goal, and probably varies by store manager. I have no idea if they get paid the same as anyone else in that job, and I suspect there is some tax-advantage to the employer, besides the PR boost (or not) to company image.
Of course! This often happens with older generations and progress. And it’s wonderful to cultivate gratitude for progress that has happened as it happens, along the way. I truly believe in humanity and I can see in a million ways how the world is getting better over time. It fills me with a sense of love and optimism to think about that!
I’m glad your family has had such positive experiences with these programs and that you see so many disabled people being employed in your area!
Ignore the mess in the back, but I’m gifting some of the leftover parade throws from Mardi Gras last year! The yellow bag on the right was totally full, and I emptied out about half of it into the bag on the left. Someone in my buy nothing group is hosting a Mardi Gras event for her French club and requested Mardi Gras decor.
One of my dds has an (invisible) disability and she works in a store and gets paid the same as everyone else. She did get the job through a placement group and it’s my understanding that the business did get some sort of tax break for hiring her initially. Her job coach went with her at first.
She now seems to be their most reliable employee and has keys so that she can open in the morning.
But she’s applying for disability and will only be able to earn so much before that’s affected, plus income affects Medicaid eligibility. It gets really complicated.
I have had at the shifting of things this week. Not clearing, but essentially moving back in, using the shelves I bought, to finally get things out of boxes at long, long last. I really want my living room back!! And then it’s on to the next room. Can’t wait!
Yesterday I culled all the 3t cold weather clothes, and then went ahead and did the same with the summer clothes. Emptied out the 4t box into the drawers, filled it with the 3t stuff, and sent it to donation this morning. Not bad for an impulse chore I hadn’t planned to do (but love–size and seasonal turnover is my meditation).
I have another declutter pick up tomorrow, one bag out already and a second one soon to follow. Also, we got a new mattress so I have to clean the bedroom to get it in, which has resulted in a bag of garbage.
Ry took the girls to the playground so I tackled the front closet. Somehow we had 3 (!!!) pairs of 2T snow pants. Totally overkill. This giant pile of stuff just got listed on buy nothing. 2 scarves, 3 baby carriers, 2 pairs of snow pants, one 3T winter coat, a pair of toddler ski mittens, a pair of toddler boots, 5 purses, 2 backpacks, and a diaper bag. Be gone!