Advocates in Massachusetts working Governor Patrick will close the front door for admissions
to sheltered workshops January 1, 2014 and will close sheltered workshops June 30, 2015! Below is a link to the “Blueprint for Success” and the Executive Summary of the plan.TonyBlueprint for Success:
Employing Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Massachusetts
Given recent federal policy changes and directives, a mutual, proactive plan has been created
by key representatives of the Association of Developmental Disabilities (ADDP), The Arc
Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to increase
integrated employment opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities (ID). The foundation of
the plan emphasizes the deeply held values about the importance of having a job in society and the
multiple benefits gained by individuals and businesses when adults with (ID) contribute to their
communities via work. The plan also sets forth a path for the Patrick Administration to be a leader
among other states by taking the initiative to close sheltered workshops and provide supported
employment in integrated settings.
The key milestones in the plan include:
– Close the “front door” to sheltered workshops as of January 1, 2014 by halting any new referrals
to this service.
– Close sheltered workshops by June 30, 2015.
– Transition participants in sheltered workshop programs during fiscal year 2015 to one of the
following options: integrated individual or group employment at minimum wage or
higher and/or Community-Based Day Services (CBDS). DDS remains committed to
providing individuals needed day services in a manner that maintains stability for families and
residential providers during non-work hours.
– Continue to transition individuals from CBDS to integrated work opportunities that pay
minimum wage or higher based on person-centered career plans.
– Gradually phase out group employment settings that pay less than minimum wage.
To successfully meet goals, the Department is committed to funding an 18 month capacity building initiative beginning in November, 2013 to expand existing strengths of its provider agencies. Key
components of this initiative include
(a)extensive training opportunities for staff
(b) supporting organizational change via management consultation/business planning efforts
(c) expanding an employment collaborative model to better coordinate identification of job
opportunities within the business community
(d) providing technical assistance on vocational assessment and person-centered career planning
to provider staff and DDS service coordinators
(e) supporting a series of regional forums for individuals and families.
The latter will be organized by The Arc of Massachusetts, in collaboration with Massachusetts
Families Organizing for Change and Massachusetts Advocates Standing Strong, to help educate
and support individuals with ID and families during system change.
To accomplish the planâ€Ÿs objectives and to strengthen partnerships, an Employment First
Implementation Council will be created to include individuals with ID, family members of individuals
with ID, advocates, providers, and state agency representatives.
A fiscal analysis has been completed indicating a need for an estimated investment of $26.7 million
over four fiscal years to provide appropriate levels of necessary support to individuals moving out
of sheltered workshop programs into integrated work settings.
The aforementioned investment will be offset by federal revenue through the Home and Community-
Based Waiver, resulting in an estimated net state cost of $13.35 million.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423