Fair pay, fair work.

August 13, 2021

The special needs coffee shop, free dishwashing at the local restaurant, working at the local store for gift cards, sheltered workshops… These are all examples of devaluation. People with developmental disabilities need fair pay for fair work.

This video explains fair pay for fair work and a few employment best practices for your loved one. Click the video below to learn more!

Leave a comment below! What insights did you gain from this video?

P.S. Claim your free seat at the “Growing Independence Workshop” by clicking the link CLICK HERE.

  • Thank you and I look forward to being part of the workshop. I was an employment specialist in ‘95-‘99. Doing cold calls to businesses that had no clue about hiring someone with a disability. It was a tough job. Fast forward 27? years. I have a 21 year old son that has multiple disabilities and needs customized employment. He missed out on the last two years of discovery employment in high school due to Covid. I think the way to go for him is to create his own business from home… maybe a farm stand or go to farmers markets. Need to find out more about grants and job coaches that can help. Thanks

  • We all need to focus on the “Transformation to
    Competitive Employment Act” in which to creative competitive integrated employment service delivery models and the inclusive services that some intellectual/developmental disabilities individuals will need to be successful. The keywords are Job Developer and Job Coaching. It’s nothing wrong with wiping the tables job or dishwasher jobs or janitorial jobs as long as it is done in the community with the right supports and living wage. We no need to find business investment to open a cafe or coffee shop for DD. All of those restaurants are will to open to help if your sons or daughters are healthy and strong to adapt to the workloads and also can be modified to fit the individual’s need. My autistic/cerebral palsy daughter works in restaurants that pay a living wage and the other ones pay her $12.00 with pension and union. I don’t see why we parents can’t look the other way and get our love ones ready for the workforce..
    Thanks for listening

  • The problem of finding meaningful paid work for the developmentally disabled has been with us for a long time, and there is no easy solution. A quick online search brought up a research paper entitled Prioritizing Barriers and Solutions to Improve Employment For Persons with Developmental Disabilities. I would recommend that anyone concerned about this issue read this paper and also search for other information.
    The findings indicate that barriers to employment for persons with developmental disabilities are multifactorial, and policy solutions to address these barriers require stakeholder engagement and collaboration from multiple sectors; most importantly it has to be a government priority, which will not happen when we elect right wing politicians who prioritize protecting the rights of the wealthy. It is clear that the problem has to be tackled by many facets of our society. The most important factor being a general consensus that improvements are needed. Unfortunately this does not seem to exist at this time.

  • Hi Eric
    Great video on Employment
    So important to have Third Party representation
    What happened in my sons case was a change in “management “ at the grocery store
    My sons hiring team (he scored a courtesy clerk job at this specific grocery chain after a 6 week work experience placement” was moving to a new store location and offered to bring my son along but at that time there was no bussing available
    The messaging from the incoming new management was if my son didn’t move to the new store he would not be getting any hours
    My son was able to walk to this store
    All of his performance reviews stated he was meeting expectations
    I called out the new management through a very generic letter to the editor “call to action directed to business owners” to consider employing persons with disabilities
    The only person that read my letter (I didn’t know it had been published) was the new store manager who called me at 7:30am… incensed
    I communicated to him that I thought this was a classic case of discrimination “
    Long story short I hired a job coach through a third part organization who found my son a new placement at a new grocery store
    My sons new employer seems to support my son well but in the end it’s still not the perfect fit for my son but there are so few entry level jobs for persons with a disability
    The third party rep means less stress for me as I don’t get involved anymore …yeah!!

  • How does one find the third party representative you speak of? I have tried every avenue available in our area. The suggestions for employment were definitely less than a meaningful, productive job for my daughter, and the employer would have to keep her on task. I agree with your ideas, I just don’t think they are an option for a lot a people. My daughter IS capable, but has been asked not to return to even a volunteer job because she couldn’t put stamps on straight on envelopes.

  • To Nancy Jack
    Someone who I can really agree with. You have explained the categories and put it out so well.
    I also have a daughter who falls into your #2 category, my son on the other hand will always need 24 hour a day support for his safety(Type #3). He would not be able to work in a really profitable way.
    My daughter can do some things but would someone really want to pay her the same as others working at this job when she is much slower or wants to do things her own way, or has( behavioural problems) It would be really more costly to have someone come after her to undo what she has done. There are some things my daughter can do but I think what she enjoys doing could be done on a volunteer basis and be meaningful to her!

  • I disagree also with you Eric. I have a loved one with a disability. I am retired from a position where I was responsible for hiring and managing over 45 people for over 20 years. As an employer, it is my right to pay fair wages for fair work – same applies to all minorities. If the person can do the job, they receive pay according to the quality/value of the work done. Now with a minimum wage in place of almost $15, cannot afford to hire additional staff because one may not be able to do the job fully. Partial work is fine, if I can pay partial minimum wage, or if government is going to compensate me the difference. Currently, government will compensate me for other minorities, even physical disabilities, so why not intellectual disabilities as well?? The problem is not with the employers – the problem is with the government programs currently offered.

  • I think that the part about carving out a job is a very important concept. Employers can benefit from rethinking their job descriptions or division of responsibilities. A willingness to think outside the box can be a win win situation.

  • I’m afraid I disagree. When we think about people with intellectual disabilities, we need to start thinking about three broad categories: those who are able, with support and modifications, to do minimum wage type work; those whose disabilities are severe enough to require full daycare-level support and the often forgotten third category which falls in the middle. The group in the middle does not need daycare support and activities and wants to and is able to do meaningful work but is not capable, even with modifications and support, of a level of productivity that equals a minimum wage level of pay (My son is part of this group). If an employer has to pay minimum wage for work that is not of a minimum wage standard, the easy thing to do is to exclude this third category entirely. It is a fight to get the third group even volunteer placements since it is work for the employer to accommodate these individuals. You make a good point with respect to the first group but don’t inadvertently pull the rug out from under the third group. Our dream is to set up a self-funding cafe or workshop for our son in order to give him and others a place for meaningful work and belongingness. We should instead be having the discussion of universal basic income for people with intellectual disabilities, funded at least at the poverty line (far above where current funding is capped) with the ability to earn up to 50% more than this standard without penalty. We should also be talking about quality of work so that work given to people with intellectual disabilities is work that has dignity — as opposed to wiping tables, picking up garbage and cleaning bathrooms, etc.

    • Nancy you are brilliant! Your ideas are spot on I hope we all can make changes in our society that includes and respects all people your ideas and insight give me hope for my son’s future

  • What about volunteering first before getting a job ? Is it good ? Does it help ? It is obviously not paid but it may provide a sense of self esteem and also perhaps ease that person in that new environment

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