ERIC Number: ED358988
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Sheltered Workshops and Transition: Old Bottles, New Wine?
This paper provides a historical overview of sheltered workshops and presents information about service innovations and mission expansion. The first workshop in the United States was the Perkins Institute, opened in 1837 for individuals with visual handicaps. This workshop was typical of "categorical" workshops that were established during this time to serve people with particular disabilities. Many workshops were private non-profit organizations, and almost no workshops were fully funded by public or private sources. Rural community sheltered workshops that have operated for over 20 years have changed and are now more likely to resemble a small business than a rehabilitation facility. Many facilities are involved in service contracts related to collating, mailing, packaging, labeling, and maid/janitorial services. Many employees or clients of today's workshops transitioned from school without the benefits of a free and appropriate education (mandated under PL-94-142, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and program options such as vocational education. One southeastern rural state has developed well managed and innovative community sheltered workshops. This state has 29 workshops that serve over 2,000 individuals. The shops recently reported $5.25 million in annual sales of goods and services and placed 8 percent of their employees or clients in competitive employment. Only 13 percent of their budgets come from state dollars, leaving 87 percent to be raised by contracts, sales, and services. This paper suggests that rural community or regional workshops should be evaluated in three major areas: the workshop as a business, service to potential employers, and service to employees and clients. (LP)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Montgomery, Diane, Ed. Rural America: Where All Innovations Begin. Conference Proceedings (Savannah, GA, March 11-13, 1993); see RC 019 153.