Notes from Council Dialogue
Key points that emerged from Council deliberations include:
- There are two main forces at work. On the main, those who might seem to be opposed to subminimum wages and sheltered workshops emphasize the inherent injustice and flaws in the systems, while those who might seem to be in support of them reflect concerns about the alternatives that will be available for themselves and/or their loved ones should subminimum wage be abolished.
- The Council did not meet many stakeholders who believe the current system represents an intrinsic ideal. Very few stakeholders are proponents of the perfection of the existing system.
- There are weaknesses in the availability of community-based options, and it would be as short-sighted and inconsistent with NCD’s mission to ignore those realities as it would be to recommend the immediate shutdown of what is an outdated system that is ill-equipped to maximize the life and choices of individuals with disabilities. However, NCD must ensure the injustices propagated by the current system are eliminated.
- NCD has a responsibility to make recommendations prepared to meet the needs of individuals who will be affected.
- There needs to be a genuine remedy to a flawed system.
- There is a divide within the ID/DD community, exacerbated by the age of the individuals (generational gap) and the varying stakeholders (i.e.: self-advocates, family members, providers, etc.) within the community.
- Some disability service providers welcome the transition. Some fear it as much as many parents of older adults with disabilities do, because they are vested in the current system and have fears about how it will be replaced.
- The discussions NCD is encountering regarding subminimum wage and sheltered workshops parallel the discussions of the 1970’s and 1980’s regarding deinstitutionalization.
- Historically, consensus is hard to come by whenever the disability service provision system has needed change.