Many vocational rehabilitation service providers fail to provide adequate training that results in meaningful community-based employment. As a result, many Michiganders with I/DD who are “employed” are limited to work in sheltered workshops that keep people with I/DD from people without I/DD. Employment is limited to piece work and/or contractual work, often paying wages below the minimum wage.
Michigan has a proud history of leading the country with respect to expanding community-based opportunities for people with I/DD. However, in terms of competitive integrated employment, Michigan has a lot of room for improvement. Putting forth state legislation which acts to raise expectations and enable people with I/DD to enhance their productivity and earn at least minimum wage alongside people without I/DD will allow them to become an integral part of the American workforce.
This step forward will ultimately increase the quality of life for Michiganders with I/DD, while reducing dependence on traditional government supports.
 Employment First Report. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdch/Employment+First+in+Michigan_469682_7.pdf
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Employment in Michigan:
This document is intended as guidance for public agencies, educators, and policymakers. It lays out a vision for the ideal system of transition in Michigan. It was developed as a result of Michigan’s participation in the Employment First State Mentoring Program, funded by the US Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).
On September 22nd, 2014 DD Network( MPAS, DDI and DD Council) released a report on Employment First in Michigan. This report outlines the dismal employment circumstances in Michigan for individuals with disabilities, particularly those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
- The 2010–2011 National Survey of Community Rehabilitation Providers Report 1: Overview of Services, Trends and Provider Characteristics
- TASH: Non-Legislative Changes to Improve Integrated Employment Outcomes
- GAO Report June, 2012: Employment for People with Disabilities: Little Is Known about the Effectiveness of Fragmented and Overlapping Programs
Employment First Initiative:
- Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE): Establishing a National Employment First Agenda, October, 2009
- The time is now: Embracing Employment First; National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), November, 2011
- Employment First Resource List; State Employment Leadership Network (SELN), Revised April, 2013
- Lane v. Kitzhaber Complaint, 3:12-cv-00138-ST
- UNITED STATES’ MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO INTERVENE Lane v. Kitzhaber, 3:12-cv-00138-ST
- National Disability Rights Network response to Oregon Executive Order: Empty Promises for People in Sheltered Workshops
- Oregon Findings letter of June 29, 2012
- ACCESS Description and Analysis of DOJ Letter of Findings Against, and Interim Settlement Agreement with, the State of Rhode Island and the City of Providence Pertaining to Sheltered Workshops and Day Activity Centers – June 17, 2013
- The Case Against the Section 14(c) Subminimum Wage Program – Samuel R. Bagenstos, J.D.
- APSE’S Call to Phase Out Sub-Minimum Wage by 2014
- ACCESS: The continued viability of community rehabilitation organizations (CROs), work crews/enclaves paying subminimum wage, and day habilitation programs and the rights of individuals with disabilities under Federal law to a full array of employment-related services - April 25, 2013
- The Commensurate Wage Fallacy by Anil Lewis on 04/15/2013, National Federation of the Blind
- National Council on Disability’s (NCD) report, Subminimum Wage and Supported Employment., August 23, 2012
- SECTION 14C OF THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT: FRAMING POLICY ISSUES, April 2002; Law, Health Policy & Disability Center, University of Iowa College of Law
- Segregated and Exploited: The Failure of the Disability Service System to Provide Quality Work; National Disability Rights Network, January 2011
- State and International Efforts to Reform or Eliminate the Use of Sub-Minimum Wage for Persons with Disabilities; Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts Boston, November 2007
- The Productivity Fallacy: Eliminate Sub-Minimum Wage; TASH Connections, Volume 36, Issue Number 2, Spring 2010
Articles by Dr. Luecking