The Journey from Institutions to Sheltered Workshops

November 8, 2019 0 By Kody Olson


>>Hi.
We’re gunna start. I’m here to make
welcoming remarks. I’m Mariette Bates and I’m the Academic Director of
the Disabilities Studies Program here at the CUNY School
of Professional Studies. I want to welcome all of you
who are here in person and all of our
on line participants. Warm welcome to you. April is
Disability Awareness Month but here at SPS we like
to get a jump on things so we’re having a lecture
here in March instead. And we’re very, very lucky
here tonight to have Dr. Beckwith here
to share her research about disability servitude. I want to acknowledge
all alumni who are here, our current students, some of our faculty, members
of the disability community and their allies and thank you
very much for coming tonight. The School of Professional
Studies began in 2003 and one of the first programs that we offered was our
graduate certificate in Disability Studies. And even though our Dean, Don Mogulescu,
isn’t here tonight, I want to make sure that to
acknowledge him because really without his support
we would not be able to have grown our program
to offer our Bachelors and Masters
in Disability Studies and our new Masters of Science and Disability Services
in Higher Education. So I want
to acknowledge his support as well as our Associate Dean, George Otte,
who is in the back and who has been a really
steadfast supporter of our program
for the last decade. So I want to thank George
for his help. Whenever I have a problem
I go and talk to him and he’s always very calm
and helps me with it. I want to also thank our terrific event coordinators,
Heather Zeman, who’s there and Nidia Cordova
who is in the back. They’ve been so thoughtful
and professional in coordinating this event that I really think they deserve
a round of applause. And I want to thank Darian
Robinson who’s doing the media over there for our simulcast and Lisa Polluck who’s
our Assistant Director of Disability Studies
who couldn’t be here tonight but who was really helpful
in the planning. And I have to say, actually everybody
at SPS is just wonderful. They really care
about our students. They make my life really,
really a joy to work here, so I wanted
to thank them as well. So our Disabilities
Studies Program really weaves disability rights and disability advocacy
throughout the curriculum, so it’s not an accident that we
have invited for our speaker tonight our decade’s long
advocate for disability rights. I think I first met Dr. Ruthie Marie
Beckwith in the 1980s when we were both working
on developing self advocacy in our respective states. I was providing support
to the Self Advocacy Association of New York State and Dr. Beckwith was developing People
First of Tennessee, a disability rights organization
that ended up being run by 600 people
with disabilities in that state. So although I was kind
of encourager of self advocacy in New York, Dr. Beckwith was really
up to her elbows in doing the work in Tennessee. And her project was really
a groundbreaking project in the history of self advocacy. As a student, Dr. Beckwith has
worked with former residents of Clover Bottom Developmental
Center which opened in 1923 and just closed
a couple of years ago. And then she coordinated
plaintiff’s efforts and law suits against Arlington
Developmental Center, another institution in Tennessee but it was through her work
with people first that she first heard many former
residents of Clover Bottom and other Tennessee institutions
speak about their unpaid work in the laundry, in the fields or as aids caring
for other residents in those developmental
centers in Tennessee. The results of those early
conversations sparked her interest in the subject
and resulted in the research that culminated and in her
recently published book “Disability Servitude” which was
just published a few weeks ago. The subject of tonight’s
lecture is incredibly important but it’s been largely overlooked and neglected
in disability history. So Disability
Servitude is certain to become a key text
in disability studies. As a public policy issue,
sub minimum wage issues for disabled people are
rarely brought up and seldom covered in the media except when there are
these egregious situations like the article in the New York
Times a couple of years ago, The Boys in the Bunk House
which you probably know about, about a group of men in Iowa
who had worked for 30 years in a turkey processing plant
from dawn to dusk for a period of 30 years receiving $65
a month for their work. But the history of unpaid work by disabled people has a very
long history that parallels the rise
of the large institutions over the last really 150 years. What’s been constant over the many decades is
the systematic exploitation of people with disabilities
through unpaid labor, either through peonage or by providing sub minimum wage
to disabled workers. Dr. Beckwith likes
to say that she causes confusion and chaos wherever she goes, but I think it’s
a necessary personality trait for advocated and innovators. I look forward to her
disrupting the status quo tonight a little bit and hope you’ll join me in giving her
a really warm welcome.>>Thank you. Thank you so much for
your kind introduction Mariette and good evening to everyone. I again would like
to thank you personally for coming
to tonight’s presentation on disability servitude from institutions
to sheltered workshops. I’d like to take a moment
to thank the faculty, thank the program for hosting me and in particular
I want to thank Dr. Mark Freedman,
my direct support person for this adventure
to New York from Tennessee and all of the support
he gave me during the time that I was working on the book in our home in Murfreesboro,
Tennessee. Tonight I’m going to
share that journey, the journey that I had into
the history of the exploitation of the labor of individuals
with disabilities. But before I get started I want
to know that we also have people joining us from joining
the presentation via webinar and they are also coming
from all over the country. We have people
from the southeast. We have people
from the northwest. We also have people
from Africa and people that registered for the webinar
from as far as way Asia. And so one of the people who
registered was from the Congo, he’s a CUNY student who
takes classes from the middle of nowhere in the Congo
and that’s very crazy to me, but here tonight,
how many people here are from the northeast
or from this area in particular? Okay.
People from the south? Okay.
Anyone from the west? So we have a really broad group of people that are
participating this evening and I appreciate everyone who is
coming and everyone who is here. Tonight I’m also going to
give away two copies of the book and there will be
a raffle for that. One for people
that are here in person and one for the people who are
participating via webinar. So if you didn’t get
a raffle ticket please make sure you do so before the end
of the questions and answers because that’s when Heather
and Nidia are going to give away the two books that are
brought home for people to be able to take home tonight. Finally, even though books are
not available for sale at this event tonight, I want to encourage you
to purchase one of your own and Pel Grave has
provided discount coupons for you and they were available
at the table here and if, I’m sure we’ll make arrangements for people who are coming
and joining us by webinar to also have access
to the discount code that is on the coupon
to make sure that people can purchase the book
at the discounted price. And I’ve been told repeatedly
that the e-book is coming and so hopefully that will also
be available sometime soon. So if you need it via e-book, it will be available
to you soon. In 1902 Walter Fernald who
was the superintendent at the Massachusetts State School for
Idiotic and Feeble Minded Youth, one of the first institutions in the country gave a description
of his vocational training program which they referred
to as industrial therapy. And at our stone
piles at Waverly, this is what he said, at our stone piles of Waverly are pretty much the first
step to industrial work. We have two circles of stones. There’s one here and one here. And they’re 30 feet apart. We fill one of these
circles of stones, with stones about as
big as a man’s head. Then all of the stones of one circle are carried
to the other side and the boys go home to lunch. That is the primary lesson
in our industrial training, that stone pile. The closing
of sheltered workshops in our country has gained and
will continue to gain attention as individuals with disabilities
continue to pressure state and Federal officials
for improved access to economic equality in the form
of integrated employment that pays real wages
and proponents of policies that currently relegate
over 400,000 individuals to work in sheltered workshops
to lives of perpetual poverty will continue to seek support
from the press and the public for maintaining
the existing segregated system. So to more effectively counter their arguments
I think it’s important for us all to have a better
understanding and ability to explain how we
got to where we are tonight, how we got
to where we are today. And how the existed system was
not created with the goal to help people with disabilities
gain economic authority. I wrote Disabilities Servitude to try to understand
and expose the darker side of the intuitional
industrial complex. And as part of my research
I wanted to create another base of information that all of us
could access to create a, to counter a cultural narrative,
a body of knowledge that would help us counter
a cultural narrative that portrays individuals with disabilities
as helpless children who will always be
in perpetual need of our pity, protection and kindness
from strangers. And even though, obviously I don’t have time
to tonight in this presentation to touch on all of
those counter narratives, I made an extensive list
in chapter 7 so people are something
to refer to and fall back on. And the arguments that are
in chapter 7 are those that I’ve compiled from people
who have labored in the field over the past century
to demonstrate that people with disabilities are capable of useful important work
that pays real wages. And so please, you know, take time to seek
those out the next time you have to pose an argument
about counter an argument about why sub minimum wage is
a valuable tool for people to have to keep people employed. But almost
from the inception efforts to segregate people
with disabilities, resulted in dehumanization, exploitation
and the ongoing devaluation of their labor and potential
for integrated employment. Now I’ve been fascinated
with history of our field. When I first started teaching special education in
1977 in rural Kentucky, it was the first year
that all children with disabilities could go to school. It was public law,
9 142 and I was at the Vanguard, I was blessed to be one of
the very first teachers in the schoolhouse in rural Kentucky
in Green River that didn’t have air conditioning and was
forced to except children who had not from their community
who had not been to school. In my classroom I
had 16 year old twins who had never been to school. In 1980 I moved to Tennessee
and started working as a house manager and then as
the assistant director of a residential agency that ran
group homes and apartments for people who had moved out
of the Clover bottom, the institution that Mariette
referred to in the introduction. And that’s where I first
met Herman Capline and learned about his failed
attempted to gain, to try to get paid for back
wages for work that he did, for labor that he did when he
was at the state institution, Clover Bottom and
then later as the staff adviser for People First. Understanding the history of
the law suits that were filed against institutions became
even more important to me as I helped their leadership become
the first organization run by people with disabilities in
our country to file a class action law suits on behalf of
their members against the state run institutions and three
out of the four institutions in Tennessee have closed as
the result of that labor. The last one is due to
close next year. Given all of this interest
and experience I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about
de institutionalization and law suits like Wyatt versus
Stickney in Alabama and Willowbrook here in Staten
Island all got started, but what I was surprised to
learn from my research was it was the unsuccessful
efforts of the resident and patient workers to get
paid for all of their labor that had a far greater
impact across the country. So before I go on,
just to give, I’ve given you a little
bit of history, and Dr. Bates did as well, I’m going to get a sense
of where people are from and what your own
experiences are with work and exposure to people who have lived and worked
in segregated environments. So how many people here have worked in a state
run institution for no pay? No one tonight. Was there anyone on the webinar?>>[inaudible]>>No answer. Has anyone here ever worked
in a sheltered workshop for minimum wage? One person in the back.
Anybody on the webinar? Has anyone worked
as a support person in a state run institution? Anyone in the back?
Nope. Has anyone worked as a support
person in a sheltered workshop?>>[inaudible]
>>Okay. All right.>>[inaudible]>>And then has anyone worked
as a support person in supported employment, helping people find jobs
in the community?>>[inaudible]
>>Great. Nice representation. And finally has anybody here
ever worked for sub minimum wage in any kind of job as a waitress
perhaps or a server or a companion in a group home? Yes.
>>[inaudible]>>As a graduate student. [Laughter]
Yes. So a good number
of us have a feeling of what it’s like to earn
less than minimum wage. So tonight’s presentation I’m
going to talk about the types of labor that the residents
and patient workers performed and I do want
to let you know that I’m using the terms residents and patient workers
in specific context. The resident workers were those, and this is how they
were referred to in the cases
and in the history, as those persons who worked
in the state run institutions for people with intellectual
disabilities for no pay. The patient
workers were those who worked in the state run institutions
for people with mental illnesses or the state mental
hospitals for no pay. And I also want to say
and share obviously that from the historical context I’m going to be
using from time to time terms and labels that are no
longer considered acceptable for us to use as we
communicate about and talk about people
with disabilities and I only do so to retain
the historical integrity of the reference that I’m using. Secondly I’m going to explain
what the peonage cases hope to accomplish and how public
policy again failed the employment aspirations of
people with disabilities. I’m going to give a very
short brief background of the section 14 C3 provision
in the Fair Labor Standards Act that provides for the
payment of sub minimum wages for people with disabilities
and other people who are fighting to overcome that,
part of the law as well. I’m going to share historical
and current issues that are associated with sheltered
workshops that I identified through my research and how
these workshops became a de facto extension of the
state run institutions and really ended up with
people having little pay and even less meaningful
work opportunities. And finally I’m going to
touch on current Employment First Initiative has and
holds for creating a new legacy of integrated
work for people that is fairly compensated for all
individuals with disabilities. So what was the history
of involuntary servitude in the state run institutions? And I want to stress
that as I said earlier, involuntary servitude happened
in all kinds of institutions. For example, the dresses
in this picture were made and worn by the patients
who lived and worked for no pay at the Clarinda State
Hospital in Clarinda, Iowa. Involuntary servitude
happened in institutions, schools for the blind,
schools for Native Americans and indigenous
people with disabilities, people with mental illness,
the veteran’s hospitals. It was pretty
pervasive throughout the institutional system. And what did resident
and patient workers do? What type of work
did they perform? Essentially they performed
almost all of the work needed and necessary for building the
institution and sustaining it. Earlier in 1883, Walter Fernald, the superintendent of the
Massachusetts State School reported at a meeting
of the super intendants of all of the state run
institutions at that time that in the institution
the boys assist the baker, carpenter and engineer. They do much of the shoe making, the tailoring and the painting. They drive teams, they build
roads and they dig ditches. Nearly all of the institutions
have large farms and gardens which supply enormous quantities
of milk and vegetables for the consumption
of the inmates. This farm and garden work is
done largely by the way, adult male imbeciles. A reporter in the Toronto Star
just recently, in a recent article
that was about research that was done by a colleague [indiscernible]
who also studies this issue in Canada, described this wall that was
built by the patient workers in 1877 at the Provincial
Lunatic Asylum in Toronto. He said that when the Provincial
Lunatic Asylum wanted walls built to close of its inhabitants
from the outside world, the patients dug
the foundations. They laid the stones at the base and they stacked the bricks
nearly 5 meters high. This wall still exists. When the asylum built
a branch in Mimco, the patients constructed
the buildings that would one day house them. For eight years they labored
building what is now the hall that is used
by the Lake Shore Campus. Here residents
also performed work that was done
outside of the institution at the request of the community or at the request
of specific individuals. This particular slide has
a picture of the Rosewood Center that is in Maryland and women
performing household chores. In 1937 Leo Canner
who was an employee at the Rosewood Center found
that an astonishing 166 patients had left
Rosewood State Training School under a writ of habeas corpus
from 1911 to 1933 with nothing at all to explain
why they were released. So he and a diligent social
worker named Mable Crous looked into the matter further and he confirmed
that these girls, women and a few boys had not
only been legally snatched from Rosewood right
under everyone’s noses, but they had been bought
as unpaid laborers and indentured servants
by the rich in Baltimore. Residents also performed work on behalf of local
communities and what became, ultimately became
the New Lisbon Center in New Jersey was originally a colony that was formed as
an extension of the institution and one of the things I was really surprised by when I
first began looking at the times of labor that people performed
was the fact that the men who built the colony
and then lived in the colony also became expert firefighters. Now my son works and has worked
and done conservation work in Arizona and I’ve had a chance
over the past couple of years to meet several people
who do this for a living and they’re referred
to as hotshots and they’re paid
an exorbitant amount of money to do this very dangerous work
that has resulted in the death of a number of hotshots
over the most recent years. And so when I read that,
a whole group of men with intellectual disabilities
had formed a firefighting team and had
become expert firefighters and were frequently called
upon by the local community to protect their homes
from fires, I wondered how it
was thought they were never able to earn the same wages
that the hotshots in Arizona have been able
to command. The work that the residents did and the patients did
was widespread and necessary to sustain
the institutions growth and it was also coerced. Pat Deegan who is a mental
health advocate, well known within the mental
health consumer movement took a tour of Vermont State School
and the tour guide, during that time pointed out that during the late 19th
and 20th century, that these heavy lead shoes were
routinely attached to the patient’s feet when they
worked on the hospital farms and she explained that
the lead shoes were strapped over the feet and then
a chain was inserted through the round holes that you
can see here in the photograph. This tethered both feet at
no more than a stride’s length. In effect the lead shoes stopped
the patients from running away
from the hospital while they were working
in the fields. Now to be sure
the coercion continued well beyond the beginning
of the 20th century and in 1972 Bruce Enis is who is
one of the attorneys who worked and tracked the progress
of the peonage law suits noted and reported that there were
periods of rebellion on behalf of the patients
and resident workers. There were periods of rebellion. Seven times in three years she refused to work
but the attendant whose workload was increased
by her incalcitrant behavior threatened to report unfavorable
notations in her record, took away her cigarettes,
ignored her physical complaints and she frequently
suffered from headaches and pains in her
lower back and legs, turned off the TV in the middle
of whatever program she was watching and in general
made her life on the ward so disagreeable that she was
forced to choose the drudgery of the kitchen
over the antagonism of the ward. These are just very
small insidious ways people can make someone else’s
life very intolerable. So that’s just a very,
very brief overview of the labor and the coercion that people
experienced as they worked and helped build
the institutions that we have very, very slowly begun
to dismantle across the country. So now I want to talk
a little bit and highlight some of what the significance
was of the peonage law suits because that’s really
what brought this to this topic, was my buddy Herman Capline
in Nashville who moved out of Clover Bottom
and talking about the law suit that he and three other people
had filed against Clover Bottom. In 1972 it was estimated
that at least by 1972 it was estimated that at least
47,000 resident workers and as many as 211,000
patient workers worked in state run institutions
across the country without pay. This is my favorite
peonage sign, it was purloined
from the Pennhurst Institution in Pennsylvania,
in Philadelphia. You will see this on my website
and also on my banner if you take my disability
history course here at CUNY.>>[inaudible]>>This was
from around 1973, 1974.>>[inaudible]
>>Right. Okay. Yes.>>[inaudible]>>There’s a little bit more
about a couple of Pennhurst people later
in the presentation too. So this particular
report is from the farm at Pennhurst
and it covers 1924 to 1926. And what I wanted to show
was that the establishment would later choose to try
to minimize and devalue the work that the residents
and patient workers had done. But as you can see
from their own documentation, in those two particular years, the net earnings for the work that was done on the farm
at Pennhurst was $50,000. Which in today’s dollars would be valued at $668,000
in those two periods. That’s the profit they made off
the resident labor. In Pennsylvania again,
in his 1973 study, Conly did a study
of the economics of mental retardation
and he focused only on one institution,
Polk State School. And he reported that at Polk
the residents in a one year time had performed
1,770,000 hours of labor, unpaid labor. Or 45% more work than the other
paid workers of the institution. And he estimated that the unpaid
labor of the residents at about, a little over a million dollars. In today’s dollar this would
be equal to $12 million. That’s the value that later would become minimized
by the establishment. So how was the end,
how was the use of unpaid labor by the residents
and patients brought to an end? Between 1905 and 1988 a total of 20 law suits had been filed
that included allegations of institution peonage
and institutional servitude in violations of the Fair
Labor Standards Act. In 18 of these cases were
brought by resident and patient workers seeking
back wages. Their allegations focused
on the 13th amendment and violations of the Fair
Labor Standards Act of 1966. And that particular version
of the Fair Labor Standards Act, those amendments were
particularly important for the work that the, for the cases
that people were going to file because those amendments said, to include state institutions, which prior
to that had been accepted, had been exempted
from fair labor laws. And it included institutions primarily engaged
in the care of the aged, mentally ill or defective
who resided on their premises. So tonight I want to share the results of two
particular cases and I’m going to describe them
in a little bit more depth. One is the Souder V Brennen case that was filed in Maryland
and the other is the Townsend V Clover Bottom case
that was filed in Tennessee. And first I’m going to talk
about the Tennessee case and my friend, Herman Capline. There were four main
plaintiffs in this case. The first
person was Aireld Townsend and Herman Capline,
Clint Tucker and Nancy Gill Tucker
and the first person you’re going to hear
from is Aireld Townsend.>>So good evening. My name is Aireld Townsend I was
12 years old when I went to live at Clover Bottom State Hospital
and School in 1951. Right off the bat they
had me working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. In 1957 I started
worked 7 hours a day, 5 days a week
in the dining room. For the last 8 years I worked
in the Clover Bottom dairy that was part of the farm
that grew food for us residents and the surrounding community. When I was 34 years old
I was part of a law suit that sued Tennessee
to get paid for back wages. I lived and worked at Clover
Bottom for no pay for 20 years.>>The next person you’ll
hear from is Herman Capline.>>Good evening. My name is Herman Capline
and I was 52 when I was part of the law suit against Clover Bottom
to get paid for back wages. I moved to the Tennessee Home
and Training School for the Feeble Minded
when I was 16 years old. When I first moved there
I worked 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. In 1957 I started working 7
hours a day, 5 days a week. I worked in the dairy
for 12 years, the boiler room for 5 and the grounds maintenance
another 8 years. I lived and worked at Clover
Bottom for no pay for 34 years.>>The next person is Clint
Tucker and Clint needs to step away from the speaker
to avoid feedback.>>Good evening.
My name is Clint Tucker. I was 71 years old
when I was part of the law suit against Clover Bottom
to get paid for back wages. I moved to the Tennessee Home
and Training School for the Feeble Minded
when I was 26 years old. When I first worked there I worked 12 hours a day,
7 days a week. In 1957 I started working 7
hours a day, 5 days a week. I worked on the garbage wagon
for 22 years, in the boiler room for 5 years, in the hospital for 3 years,
in the kitchen for 2 years and then the laundry for 1 year. I lived and worked at Clover
Bottom for no pay for 43 years.>>And finally, Nancy Gill Tucker,
Clint’s wife.>>Good evening. My name is Nancy Gill Tucker. I went to live at the Tennessee
Home and Training School for the Feeble Minded
when it first opened in 1923. When I first went there I worked
12 hours a day, 7 days a week. In 1957 I started working 7
hours a day, 5 days a week. I worked in the infirmary,
cafeteria, the dining room
and as a custodian. I lived and worked at Clover
Bottom for no pay for 48 years.>>The case in Tennessee came
about when I was able to interview the lawyer
who represented residents because they had gone down
to Social Security. They were in their 70s,
they had worked their whole life and when they went to Social
Security to file for benefits they found that they were not
eligible for retirement benefits because they had never
been paid and those benefits had not been deducted
or paid for many of their wages, like people who do work
and receive regular wages. The case was ultimately
dismissed in Tennessee after the Supreme Court ruled
that Federal courts could not enforce the Fair Labor
Standards Act against states that would not waive
their immunity from being sued. It was a little
bit different in the case of Souder V Brennen in Maryland, fortunately for everyone. In Souder V Brennen
there were three people who filed and participated
in this case. One was from Orient
State in Ohio. That was Eugene Nelson Souder, the main plaintiff in the case. Also Joseph Ladonee
who was a resident at Pennhurst State School
in Philadelphia and then Edwin Leidy who was from the Haverford
State Hospital in Pennsylvania. And if first person we’re going to hear
from is Eugene Nelson Souder.>>Good evening. My name is Eugene Nelson Souder. When my parents died
in 1940 I was forced to go live at Orient State in Ohio. I was 14 years old. I worked in the kitchen
of my cottage 7 days a week. For 5 days I worked
11 hours a day and the other
2 days worked 5 hours. And I also had to do yardwork. I had 2 days off a month and I was paid $2
a month for kitchen work and 2 to $3 a week
for house and yardwork. I lived and worked at Orient
State Hospital for 33 years.>>The second person was
Joseph Ladonee from Pennhurst.>>Good evening. My name is Joseph Ladonee
and I went to live at the Pennhurst State Hospital
in 1955 when I was 14. I worked 5 to 6 days
a week for 6 to 8 hours a day cleaning my building. I lived and worked at Pennhurst
for no pay for 18 years.>>And finally, Edwin Leidy who is right in front of you
from Haverford State Hospital.>>Good evening. My name is Edwin Leidy
and I was 55 years old when I moved to Haverford
State Hospital in 1966. From 1966 to 1972
I worked 5 hours a day, 4 days a week
as a messenger for no pay. And I’m proud to say that the
whole time that I worked there, I only missed 12
days of work in 1969 because I had to have surgery.>>So what do you
all think happened as a result of the cases? Anybody read my book?
Anybody have any ideas?>>[inaudible]>>Essentially the institutions
stopped all the work programs. Over the course of four
years that followed the Souder decision which was later
reversed by the Appellate Court, all of the work
programs stopped. The states instead decided
to hire non-disabled workers to replace the resident
and patient workers. And as people became idle,
the push for deinstitutionalization
accelerated. We have 47,000 idle
resident workers. We now have 211,000
idle patient workers. Those individuals who are doing nothing and not contributing
to sustaining and caring for the institution and the
people who live there. Unfortunately when people moved
they went from unpaid workers at jobs that had value were they were able to demonstrate real
competence at things that were important and valuable
and would be work that they could do anywhere inside and
outside of the institution, to sheltered workshops and work activity centers where the
work had little pay and was of very little value and
meaning for them to be doing. And as far as the courageous
people who filed the cases, between 1974 and 1975,
a very interesting little newsletter called
Behavior Today was issued and followed the progress
that the states had made. They polled all of the
administrations across the country on the status
of the work programs. Some institutions created
shelter workshops in house to replace the meaningful real unpaid work
that people had done. But they found and tracked down
the main plaintiffs in the Souder case and they
found that Edwin Leidy who had been the messenger at
Haverford State Hospital died before the original
decision was handed down. They found that Nelson Eugene Souder had moved out and
was suing for back pay, and Joseph Ladonee who had worked at Pennhurst
was no longer employed. We saw the big Pennhurst
sign that said, peonages are forbidden. But he was in a small group
socialization training program and he was learning
basic self-care skills, so he was ultimately released
from Pennhurst as were all the residents as the result
of the Pennhurst law suit. So now that I’ve shared the
impact and the unfortunate important history of the
peonage cases I want to give a little bit of
background on the peculiar institution of sub minimum wage. And I want to give a shout out in particular to the National
Federation for the Blind. The National Federation
for the Blind, from the very beginning from the
conversation about being able to pay people with disabilities
less than workers that did not have disabilities has mounted
and continues to mount protests against what they believe to be
this discriminatory practice. And in this particular
photograph there are people from the NFB continuing to
protest outside of one of the sheltered workshop programs. So the history of the Fair
Labor Standards Act dates back to the Great Depression
when in 1934 the National Industrial Relations Act was
passed and that first law, labor law, mandated that people with disabilities be
paid no less than 75%. It was a familiar,
it wasn’t a percentage. It was, if you hire a worker
with disabilities you can’t pay him any less than 75% of what we would pay somebody who
didn’t have a disability. Now the Supreme Court struck
that down and FDR went to war with the Supreme Court
and the end result of that battle was the Fair
Labor Standards Act which is the labor law
that we currently operate under. And that was passed in 1938
and adopted the same standard for paying people with
disabilities no less than 75% of what a worker without
a disability would be paid. And then in 1966
the same amendments that extended coverage
of the law to workers in institutions also
unfortunately lowered the floor and said that people
with disabilities could be paid no less
than 50% of what people without disabilities
could be paid. And it also created
a whole new category of work programs called
Work Activity Centers. So we have sheltered workshops and we have
work activity centers and the work activity
centers were not held to the less than 50% of
what people could be paid. And they could be
paid in accordance with what the worker’s
productivity was thought to be or measured. So now we have
intelligence quotients and now, we have productivity quotients
emerging in our field. Finally in 1984 when
the law was amended yet again the wage floor was eliminated
completely which meant
that the sheltered workshops, work activity centers
and any employer who got a certificate
of exemption from the Department of Labor could pay workers based
on what they felt their productivity level to be
and what it was measured to be. So how does this change,
the 1984 change, how did it impact workers
with disabilities? How does that really play out? So my mother worked at Silvana. She was a factory line worker
and she did piece work. So I heard about timed studies and piece rate
from a very young age. She was also a union steward who
fought changes that management would make to how piece rate was
determined for the workers on the line and individual
workers at Silvana. Here basically it turns
into like a word math problem and here this example to help us kind of think
through what someone in a sheltered workshop would be
paid or a work activity center or by an employer
who has this certificate. The prevailing wage for
stuffing envelopes it $8/hour. The time study that was
performed shows that the person without a disability can
stuff 80 envelopes in an hour. So the pay
for stuffing envelopes then is 10 cents per envelope. That’s the standard pay.
Sounds fair. That’s 10 cents an envelope. If you stuff more
than 80 envelopes, you’re going to make a lot
of money but if you stuff less you could see this is going
to affect your bottom line. So the bottom line is,
you show up for work every day from 9:00
a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and the van drops you off
and picks you back up. And you clock in a total
of 25 hours that week. You get paid 10 cents per
envelope as per the time study. That is well documented
in the office of the sheltered workshop. On Monday you stuff 100 envelopes so you’re ahead
and you make $10. On Tuesday you stuff 80,
a total for the whole day, 80 envelopes and you make $8. On Wednesday you stuff
20 envelopes and then you went bowling with your
group. So you only earned $2. And then finally on Thursday
you stuff 10 envelopes and then everyone ran out of envelopes
and so you only made $1. So who can tell me what your
gross pay for the week was? What was the total paycheck,
total that you earned?>>[inaudible]
>>Yes, $21. So your gross pay for the end
of the week is $21.>>[inaudible]>>$21 for 25 hours. That’s the next question. Somebody’s reading ahead
in my presentation. So the question is, who can tell me what your
average hourly pay was?>>[inaudible]>>Yes, 21 divided
by 84 cents an hour. That’s considerably less
than the minimum wage.>>[inaudible]>>That is acceptable
under section 14C 3 of the Fair Labor Standards Act. So now that we kind
of get a little bit of how it plays out in real life and how some minimum
wage is actually calculated, and this can also
be done by the hour for work that’s performed
over the course of an hour
like cleaning hotel rooms. How many hotel rooms
can you clean in an hour and then they do the time study and if you’re a very
efficient fast cleaner and somebody’s that you
well you can earn a certain amount of money. But if you’re a little
bit slower at those hospital corners,
you’re going to earn less. I want to go
into how this system of paying people sub minimum
wage and sheltered workshops and work activity centers has
combined to keep people in perpetual poverty
and servitude. I’m not going to go
into an extensive history of sheltered workshops
at this point, but suffice to say
the first sheltered workshop in the United
States was established in 1837 at the Perkins Institute
for the Blind in Boston and this was based on a model
that was created in Europe. And by 1934 when the National Industrial
Relations Act was passed, the National
Recovery Administration noted the existence of 200
sheltered workshops that represented approximately
25,000 workers. So as we said earlier, when the patient
and resident workers moved, when the cases
and they were forced to stop working for not
having for not being paid, when the patient workers moved
out of the mental institutions, unfortunately they typically
went to a boarding home and were offered
any type of work. Some of them went
to sheltered workshops, but for the most part
they were not offered any type of employment supports. And unfortunately when the resident workers began
to move, they went from unpaid workers, again at the jobs that had value and they did competent
important things to the adult activity centers
and the shelter workshops. So as you can see
from my little red dot here, in 1968 when the law first
passed for activity centers we have 24,000 people, approximately,
in sheltered workshops and just about 12,000 people in the newly
created work activity centers. Now the decision when
the peonage cases happened in 73 and 75 you can see those numbers
grow to ultimately by 1979, 6 short years
after Souder V Brennen decision was handed down by the judge, there are 28,000 people
in the sheltered workshops and there were
over 117,000 people in the work activity centers. And this is for the individuals
who were resident workers, the people
in the state run institutions for people with intellectual
disabilities. Now that number has continued
to climb to today where we have
over 400,000 people in segregated work environments
earning maybe 3 cents an hour, 25 cents an hour,
maybe a little bit more. Surely nothing less than that. So as the headlines have shown
across time, there’s been
a tremendous pressure from the Federal government
to begin to dismantle the segregated work environments and promote inclusive
opportunities for work at real wages. And I want to touch
on some of the issues that are associated
with shelters workshops as we begin to think
about alternatives for employment for people that are meaning and help them
raise themselves out of poverty. These issues were covered
over the course of the beginning investigations
that happened, that were mandated by Congress. In 1966 when the wage
an hour law was passed, the amendments
that lowered the floor to 50% Congress had
some misgivings about that and they ordered
the Secretary of Labor to do one of the very
first reports on the status
of sheltered workshops because they wanted him
to evaluate the potential for workers who earn
minimum wage there and they really
had the intention of raising
the minimum wage however, in the report,
although the executive summary that was signed
by the Secretary of Labor really blasted
sheltered workshops for some of the issues I’m
going to talk about, at the end of the day the recommendations did
not include changing or eliminating sub
minimum wage provisions. So since 1967, since the
Secretary signed that report, there have been 11
investigations and studies regarding the Wage an Hour oversight
of the 14C 3 provision. And the Wage
an Hour was the division of the Department of Labor
that was given responsibility for administering this program. The first method, the first huge problem that is
consistently noted are problems with the methods used
to determine the wages. The time studies that we just
kind of did the math problems. And this is despite the lack
of growth in minimum wage. Since the, when it
was first established, minimum wage under the Fair
Labor Standards Act in 1938 was 25 cents.
That was minimum wage. And the study that was done
by the sheltered workshops committee showed
that average earnings in sheltered workshops
at time was 24 cents an hour, 98% of the minimum wage. However, by 2008 we can
see that minimum wage, the percentage
that you earn in comparison to minimum wage went
from 98% to 23%. So even though minimum
wage continued to grow, your share of that growth
continued to decline. The methods used
to determine wages also resulted
in widespread abuse and the Department
of Labor found in 2005 that 11 out of 100 workers in sheltered
workshops were owed back wages. And most recently
on the internet and particularly with the autism
self advocacy network, huge victory on the part
of people with autism who sued their
sheltered workshops and were ordered to receive back wages for problems with how
their wages had been calculated over the course
of a 3-year period. Another huge problem was
the overall administration and oversight by wage an hour. And as I read the 11
investigations it was clear that the lack of follow up on previous investigations had
resulted in this severe and serious exploitation
and jeopardy for the workers
with disabilities. But even I was taken aback when I read the findings
that included, that were included
in the Department of Labor report
that was issued in 2001 and this report was a review
of how the Wage an Hour division had handled
a 1999 compliance review. The compliance review in 1999,
the Wage an Hour division reported
on the status of 50 workers who provided a variety
of entry level jobs at a plant that had received a section
14C 3 exemption certificate. Now this employer also operated
a group home and was manager of the plant and claimed
that their wages included meals and lodging and other services and those benefits were
calculated into the wage that they paid the workers. Now when Wage an Hour reviewed
this compliance review they overlooked
and ignored the fact how that plant calculated
the wages of the workers had been approved
40 years before. And ultimately they
were criticizing a report that was done
and the findings were left largely ignored and forgotten
and it wasn’t until 10 years later that these employees
at Henry’s Turkey Farm which Dr. Bates described in her
introduction were finally freed from decades long
servitude in Iowa. And this case really in many ways helped to move
an open up our current dialogue and discussion that we’re having
about sub minimum wage for people with disabilities. So many cases have brought
to the light a lot of the problems
with the policies and their need to be completely revamped
in favor of inclusion. Finally another huge problem
that particularly the National Federation for
the Blind has been very active in fighting is that if you work
in a sheltered workshops as an employee you’re not
considered an employee by the National
Labor Relations board. That means you don’t
have the same right to organize and the same right
to grieve as workers that don’t have disabilities. And that the National
Review Board considers the work that people do
in sheltered workshops, work activity centers
to be therapeutic in nature and believes that the sheltered
workshops has the best interest of the workers at heart and
those interests are much better represented by them then
they would be by a union. So where has that left people with employment options
in the 21st century? The bottom line is that people
don’t earn anything, they don’t go anywhere and
they’re exploited by an industry where they’re not even
considered to be employees. And they have no means
for re dress. A particularly poignant example of this was included
in the report that was issued by the National
Disability Rights Network, the title of that report was
Segregated and Exploited. It was particular example that they found of someone
working in a sheltered workshop, you recall from the beginning
of the presentation we talked about the stone
pile Massachusetts State Training Hospital and we
were at a sheltered workshop where we found in a far
corner sat Barry, segregated away from his peers. On the table in front
of him were two boxes, one with rocks and one without. Advocates were told
that Barry’s task each day was to count the rocks as he placed them from one box
to the other. Barry went to the workshop
to build skills that would help him get a job, but he like the guys at Massachusetts State
over 100 years ago, were given a box of rocks. So the main purpose
of this presentation tonight was to share my research which as you can tell was very
tragic and under covered, I have far more tragic examples than I was able
to share with you tonight, but I did want to leave you
with a sense of what is possible and over the past several years a real energized effort has
been sweeping the country to replace this legacy of harm
and exploitation, degradation and the reduction
in devaluation of people’s labor with an effort that focuses on fully integrated
and fairly compensated work as the first employment option
for people. So tonight before I open
the floor up for questions and answers and the raffle
for the two free books, I want to share
the stories of two people that I personally helped create
a path to self-employment. One person is in Georgia
and one person is in Tennessee. And the first person I want
to talk about is Jordan. Jordan lives in Forsyth,
Georgia and when I first met him
he was in high school. And he started come
to with his mother, started coming to a
self-employment training program that I started in Macon,
Georgia. So I would drive
from Tennessee to Macon, Georgia to have these little
bitty self-employment sessions that were about at user friendly as I would possibly
figure out at the time. And Jordan had
a disability label and he was getting
504 accommodations at school so he could get
a regular high school diploma rather than the special
education diploma. And he also had a gift
for being able to fix anything, I mean anything. Jordan can listen to an engine and tell you what’s
wrong with it. He has that kind of gift. So when I met him,
he’s 16, he’s already filled up
his parent’s garage with various motorcycles and
lawn mowers in various stages of repair and it’s already
filled up the drive way and he’s going to the local
junkyard and out bidding people to fix the parts
that people from Macon, Georgia are bringing him
to fix because he’s the only one can figure out
how to repair these things. And the last time I touched base
with him and his mother, really I touched base
with his mom because he’s 16 and 16 year old young men do not want to talk
to old professors like me. And the last time
I talked to his mom he had graduated successfully from high school and was taking
some college classes. I thought great,
he’s following his path. But a week ago when I was
preparing for this present his mother sent me one of
those Facebook messenger things and the link to this headline
from the local newspaper and it was the debut opening
of Harbin Repairs. So Jordan had taken
the information from my very basic
self-employment manual and leveraged it to be able
to open his own shop on the square in Forsyth,
Georgia. So I’m so very proud
and so is his mother. And I have access, I’ll
be I’ll send the full article to anybody who would
like to receive it. Now my second story, Jordan obviously is a very
capable young man who has wonderful supports
and a loving family and a very true gift
and talents for making, for leveraging
that into real income. But the second person I want
to talk about is someone who has far more serious and severe disabilities
and this is Thomas. Thomas is in Nashville,
Tennessee. I first met Thomas 23 years ago when I was asked to be his
legal guardian, his conservator. And Thomas was one of the last
babies born in Tennessee during the last
rubella epidemic. So Thomas was born deaf
and blind and with an intellectual
disability label. And when I first met
Thomas he had graduated and because of his disabilities his mother had surrendered him
as birth, so he grew up in foster care and when I first met him he
had aged out of foster care and he had graduated from the
Tennessee School for the Blind. They have a wonderful counselor
at the School of the Blind and a counselor that had
tracked him from his childhood and rescued him
from a nursing home at one point and really had made sure
that he got the supports he needed while he
was in school. So I met Thomas when he was aged out of foster
care and he needed a guardian. And when I first met him he
graduated from the School for the Blind and he
was in a sheltered workshop. And he was in a sheltered
workshops and he was doing everything
anybody possibly could to explain just how
unhappy he was at being there. So he had some pretty
outrageous things that he was doing and
this resulted him being kicked out of the sheltered workshops, which I was kind of happy about, personally, as his guardian, but unfortunately he ended up
in a long stint in a psychiatric hospital
because it took a long time to find another provider
that would serve him. And when we did find a provider that provider was put
out of business by the state and two other providers
just couldn’t figure out, so finally around 12 years
ago I got a group of people together and we formed a little
bit agency that just helps him. It’s called a micro board but Thomas’s little agency is
called Thomas’s Supports. And after we solved some of
the life crisis problems that Thomas had we
hired the staff, we have a little nonprofit
board of directors and we helped Thomas get
a habitat house in Nashville. So he is a home owner. And we finally were able to get
down to the business of work and helped him get stabilized. And in this case it really did mean
establishing his own business because Thomas has a business
called Thomas’s Tasty Treats. And Thomas’s Tasty
Treats is an honor snack basket where you’re really hungry and there are no vending
machines in your building and you put in a buck
and you grab whatever healthy or unhealthy treat you can
from Thomas’s baskets and you’re able
to go on your way. And Thomas has his honor baskets in Nashville at several
very supportive businesses, one of them is the most
prestigious architecture firm in downtown Nashville. Three floors, three different
break brooms for employees. So he’s very popular there. And he also has a basket at the Tennessee Department
of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
where he’s most popular with the IT people because
Tennessee has a whole new IT network that finally
get fixed and rolled out and IT workers eat lots
of snacks. So he had to up his visits to the IT floor
where he has his snacks. This particular photo was taken at one of Tennessee’s
annual mega conferences that we have
that across disability and the two women
that work with him, they take turns as his job coach
and Missy on the left is
a sign language interpreter in her other life
and Tay is also getting pretty proficient
at sign language as well. So if we really get creative
and we think long and deep and we listen to people and their families and
their dreams we can really begin to see how integrated employment
is a possibility for anyone. And the opportunity
to earn wages, when Thomas goes to the bank
with the change from the locked box
from the snack baskets, the tellers know who he is. They know his name. They know the people
who support him. He’s part of that community. And that’s what the Employment
First effort is about and that’s
the alternative legacy that I really hope people come
away with tonight. We need to know the history
because the history can come back so quickly
as policies and practices change and priorities change
and funding and resources start
moving around in ways that are mysterious
and hard to follow. But anyone can work
and anyone can earn real wages and that’s the focus
that I want and I’m very grateful that you all came
to hear about tonight. So I want to again
thank everyone for coming and thank the disability
studies Program for hosting me. Thank you to Dr. Bates and Darin Robinson
and Nidia and Heather for making me
feel like a real author and do all of the works
and do the notices and get all of the things signed and sealed and refreshments
and treats. So I really want
to thank everyone and my students in particular
for pitching in tonight and helping me
with the presentation. So again, thank you very much. We have time for questions
and answers. The question was, how long
did it take me to write the book and what was the process? I first met Herman in 1980s and
I started researching this book when I left People First. I had a year kind of
a pseudo sabbatical and I was fortunate enough
to go to the Library of Congress and start my research
and then life and kids and everything happened
and it took me 10 years until I was able to sit down
and really focus on the material that I had gathered and by then the internet had exploded
and so many resources available to be able to pull
those things together. When I finally sat down and began writing it
was a 6-month process to write. And it was a 3-month process
to rewrite the book after the publisher accepted it
for publication. The question is, is
the book available in e format? And I have asked my contact
at Pel Grave and he has assured me
that it is almost ready to come out in e book. So if you keep tune
on my website and the CUNY website
and it’s also available on Amazon and the Pel
Grave website as well, but it is supposed to be coming
out very soon in e format.>>Okay, I’m sorry, I have a few questions on line
that people are sending in. So Jason asked, I know
that OPWDD has declared that sheltered workshops are
to be phased out but do you know
if there’s a deadline for all workshops to be closed?>>My understanding from, and I am not to be quoted
on this because I’m the historian and not
the current events person, but the policy to shift people
from segregated settings to more inclusive
settings is really being driven by the Federal Medicaid
and Medicare agencies, CMS, centers
for Medicaid Severs. And it’s keeping
with the decision that was given down in 2000 that
people should have the right to live their lives
in integrated settings and Federal policy has finally
caught up with that decision and has sent all of
the states mandates to review all of their programs see where
they are in terms of integration and what their plans are
for transitioning from segregated to inclusive
community based programs. In Tennessee we’re told that
shift has to happen by 2019. I know some states are, haven’t even tried
begin that process and other states are
trying very hard to get out ahead of that curve. So that’s the ways that
I’m aware of. Another question here.
>>[inaudible]>>It’s also very
intricately wound into that. When the national Industrial
Relations Act was passed, it exempted prisoners from being
paid and having minimum wage and the restrictions apply
to prisoners. And in fact when they were first
looking at the Pennhurst case and the peonage cases
first got speed, the super intendant
with Pennhurst first filed one
of the legislators on the floor got up and said,
we pay prisoners. Now that wasn’t
a mandatory wage, but we at least
pay our prisoners. Now when people move out of, when the patient workers moved
out of the state run mental institutions, it’s very true
that over the course of time, unlike the
deinstitutionalization movement for people with intellectual
disabilities, many of those people have ended
up incarcerated. And those are Federal policies that relate to how
our community health services, community based mental health
services have been decimated and ignored and made
unavailable for people. But the answer to your question I think is very important
for advocates because as we begin to push
for less incarceration overall, that’s going to include people
with disability labels, not just mental illness. So we want to make sure
that supports and accommodations are
put in place and that we are
particularly attentive to what is happening to people who are returned
to their communities from local, state, as well
as Federal prisons. Mark and I were
at a NAACP meeting where they’re trying
to pay particular attention to people that are returned
to the community in the types of supports that can
be networked together to work together on disabilities and across the incarcerated
population. But it’s a very important one for us to be attentive
to as we move forward because they should be offered
the same opportunities. They’re in job development
and job placement programs as anyone else who’s being
released from the system. Yes.
Another question.>>So I have Amy had asked, there was an argument that she
didn’t necessarily agree with, but she wanted to take note of. I found that one argument
for keeping sheltered workshops and sub minimum wages going
is higher wages will affect their benefits.
Can you speak to that a little? Do you think that a push
for full employment will have to include a push
for raising income limits?>>My understanding as someone
who’s worked as an advocate in helping people get employment
is that the income limits are already relatively high
and they would allow people to work full time particularly
at minimum wages and they would be able
to keep the benefits that we’re worried
about people losing. So even though you earn,
for example, $30,000 a year, you can still retain
the medical benefits that you need
in order to be able to accommodate your disability. I think that problem is less
than what people, and more information is needed. We all need to get more
information out to people about how that actually works. Social Security also
has benefit specialists. There are grants to the state, protection and advocacy agencies that you can turn to get
an individual estimate, a personalized estimate
of what you can earn before you should be
worried about whether or not you have to change your earnings in order to stay
under whatever limits you choose to stay under, but certainly
it’s not an argument for keeping field experience
paid at 83 cents an hour. We have a question in the back.>>[inaudible]
>>Absolutely. Absolutely. NVH’s priority is to be
serving people with the most significant needs
across the country. However, even then, and you know people need
to be aware of the fact that they may have to push
for their interests to be in an inclusive
and integrated environment. I worked in one state
where someone as recently as three or four years ago
went to VR and ended up in a sheltered workshop
with a college degree and prior work history. So being able to say
to your VR counselor and the law changing
so that you are no longer able in Tennessee VR doesn’t
fund sheltered workshops so it’s not an option, but segregated programs still
exist across the country. So you as an advocate
for somebody, you yourself need
to be consistent would be considered
for fully compensated work. Another question here.
>>[inaudible]>>I think first and foremost, the summary that was shared
was by a mother who has avidly
sought work opportunities for her son
who has a label of autism. And her son is engaged
in two different types of work, one of which is not compensated but the other one has just
recently been negotiated where he will receive
some type of payment along with the person
who supports him. And the question is,
is as the early adopters, as people who are out front helping people do these new
and crazy and wild ideas, like snack baskets and repair
shops and working on farms, as we are confronted by people who are still committed
to these existing systems, what types of arguments do we
give people? And in many ways we’re not
going to convince a lot of people immediately
and that is one of the reasons why the Federal
policy shift has been necessary to really mandate that
the resources and the energy that we as a field put into
maintaining segregation begin to shift and we take all of
our knowledge and our creativity and our brilliance
and our experience and apply them to the kinds
of creative opportunities in ways that the early adopters, the people who have tried
to strike out on their own and rebel against the system. And the same is true as we are
dismantled the institutions. In Tennessee people were told
the institutions would never close
and that it was a pipe dream and they were being unrealistic and they were being
and next year, the last 80 people were moved. So it takes a long time and it
will take different people time and at different paces to accept
that change and to begin to see in themselves that they can
do something different than what they’re doing today and that the people they love
can do something different and be able to move today. And I think the last thing you’ll say and I’ll
take one more question. My brother and my sister in law
worked at one of the big state institutions
in Upstate New York. He was a cook
and she was a person who worked on the wards. And so then this Pataki,
who remembers governor Pataki? Governor Pataki decreed that
the institutions would close and my relatives that worked at the state institutions were
not really happy about that and we didn’t
really talk at the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. But one day I get a call
from my brother, the cook, and he said sis, they told people we’re not going
to be moving people anymore. The new governor,
new decision, we’re going to stop
moving people out of New York’s institutions. He said, they can’t do that, can they?
These people have rights. And so for me, my brother,
the cook, who was committed to his state
job and his position as the cook in a large state institution
in western New York, can make that mental shift, I think as people things
unfold for people, other people will be able
to see that too.>>[inaudible]>>Okay, that’s
a very good question and that gives me an opportunity
to pitch my book one last time. Great.
Thank you. The question was,
other than self-employment which is a very
labor intensive thing to establish
and requires a huge personal and sometimes financial,
but not always. We started Thomas’s business
with $500, you know, so it doesn’t take a lot
of money to start a business. But what other
alternatives are there? And I did want to point out,
across time one of the things that I didn’t get
into tonight was I really wanted to see what was happening as it
related to labor for people who didn’t live or were not
institutionalized. What was being available
for them across history and I went back
and looked at the first study that was issued
regarding special education in the early 1900s. What was happening
with special education? The emergence of supports
for people who didn’t end up in the state institutions. And I looked at early
work programs that were largely ignored, but the results of which were
highly positive for people and when people were committed
to helping them get work. And in particular
and there’s lists here that give you lots of examples
of what people can do. In 1960 is when the president’s
committees for individuals with intellectual
disability was established. One of the very first things that they pushed
for was employment opportunities for people with ID labels. So over the course
of three years they were able to have the civil service
requirements changed so people with ID could qualify
for civil service jobs and they found over the course, this is Mrs. Shiver cracking
the whip and the president was
behind this, they were able
to recruit over 3,000 workers with ID labels with jobs
that were across the gamete and across the Federal
government, and across departments
in the Federal government. Another list that you’ll find in the book is
that the National ARC put out and it was a long list of
what kind of work do people do? Well they’re the same kind
of jobs that everybody else here could do
and can pursue. So there are concrete
ideas in here, and there are also
concrete ideas if you look at what the
University of Virginia is doing, for example, Oregon,
programs where people really are trying
to do evidence based practices that help people get jobs and help people pursue better
and greater amounts of income. So I think, I do welcome,
and anybody, I’m going to be here for a while and I do again want
to thank everybody for coming. The future can be very,
very bright. We have to make sure
that we don’t forget that what we have now
was built on the backs of people and we want
to make sure that what they build they get
to have and own in the future. Thank you very much
for coming tonight and for participating
in the presentation. [Event concluded]
“This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication access Realtime
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is provided in order to facilitate
communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record
of the proceedings.”