March 19, 2015
ALBANY, NY – State Senator Cathy Young and Assemblyman Bill Nojay have both introduced legislation to save sheltered workshops that hire developmentally disabled or mentally impaired employees.
Nojay noted that his brother was developmentally disabled. “My brother was developmentally disabled, so I understand how important it is for a person with special needs to be placed in an environment that allows them to live a fulfilling life,” said Nojay. “If we eliminate sheltered workshops, we will force people into settings that are not suited for them. This would be a tragic mistake that would harm thousands of people who thrive in sheltered workshops and non-integrated settings.”
Sen. Young says she used to work at a rehabilitation center. “Many of these individuals are unable to sustain a job in competitive employment in the community because of the nature of their disabilities. If they don’t have sheltered employment, they will be forced to sit at home with nothing to do. It’s a huge hardship for themselves and their families. They will be isolated, non-productive, and lose out on the social aspect of going to work,” she said.
The concern is that many of these people won’t have anything to do all day if there are not sheltered communities.