3 reasons not to send someone you care about to a sheltered workshop or 'business service'
1. "Sheltered employment settings fail to provide individuals meaningful employment outcomes. Earnings are low or inconsequential, forcing individuals to remain dependent on Federal cash benefit programs" (like the Disability Support Pension - Bellamy, Rhodes, Bourbeau & Mank, 1986)
2. "Sheltered employment programs unnecessarily isolate individuals from the rest of their community. rather than lessening obstacles to employment for persons with disabilities, this segregation actually contributes to lowered expectations and negative public attitudes" (Wehman, 1981).
3. "Once in sheltered employment, very few persons are able to progress into competitive employment. The long term impact of sheltered employment on the productivity and community integration of individuals with disabilities is very small" (Murphy & Rogan, 1995).
In Australia we sometimes call sheltered workshops 'business services' Business services are sheltered workshops and they segregate people who have a disability from the general community. Sheltered workshops prevent many individuals from reaching their full potential and productivity both as employees and members of the community.
Before you consider sending someone you care for or about to a sheltered workshop, give open employment - a real job in a real business - a try. For more information contact your local NOVA office or call 1-800-656-537
First off - I don't start these fights.
A sheltered Workshop (sometimes called business services) do not generally pay award wages. Most people working in them are allowed to keep their pension and earn about $65 a week.
Open Employment is a real job at award wage working with non-disabled people in a competitve setting.
Transition to Work students that come to NOVA have the opportunity to work in open employment and people who go to Transition to Work programs operated by sheltered workshops do not.
Here is the question that parents or carers of potential Transition to Work students need to ask organisations thay are considering sending someone they love to: In the past few years how many people have left this place to get jobs in the local community?
Then ask if you can talk with them.
At NOVA you are welcome to attend TTW classes (need to make an appointment), you can view the teams successes on the web and we will work first of all to get a job at award wage in an open employment situation and, if all fails, we might consider a business service.
because this is in the best interests of every person that comes to us and we put our job seekers first.
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Your Comments G. Fletcher (parent) from Baulkham Hills wrote on 7 Mar 2009 6:57:03 PM Not a balanced view. Nova only receive payments for people they place in open employment. Vested interest and non declared interest.
Martin Wren from NOVA wrote on 8 Mar 2009 11:21:32 AM Mr Feltcher, you are absolutely correct - we receive payment to find people who have a disability work in open employment. Sheltered workshops receive exactly the same money to keep people in sheltered workshops. Here's an important difference: should we refer a person to a sheltered workshop we are no worse off. If a sheltered workshop refers a person to open employment they lose that person's funding as well as their productivity. There is absolutely no incentive to move people through a sheltered to an open employment setting - in fact quite the opposite. This is present government policy as it was previous government policy. However, this was not always so. We merely point out that right now, as our quotes clearly show, there's little chance of progressive career development for people who enter a sheltered workshop.
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