Let's Talk Sheltered Workshops

You don’t have to check out too many jurisdictions.  Ontario is only one of very many.  Sheltered workshops are starting to see the end of their ‘useful’ life for adult individuals with developmental disabilities.  In Ontario, the government has said it will be moving away from sheltered workshops.  The Minister has assured worried families that the government is working with agencies, families and individuals towards inclusive employment and other “meaningful community participation”.  Bottom line, that means no new admissions to sheltered workshop programs.

But what does the future look like?  Ontario has said, take a look at Vermont.  So let’s do that because Vermont completed its shift in 2003.  Yes, Vermont is a lot smaller than Ontario.  But, as a petri dish, it makes it a great learning opportunity.  Like many of us, I’m a great pal of Mr. Google, so here is a key article that I have dug up on the Vermont experience from the past number of years:
http://publicsource.org/investigations/vermont-closed-workshops-for-peop...

Now there are also organizations and experiences closer to home including LiveWorkPlay, Community Living Upper Ottawa Valley, and Community Living North Bay.

But this is a conversation but we’d better start having – pronto – before the bus leaves without us.  So who wants to start talking first?

 

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