This Disability Scoops piece brings up a dirty little secret that not many in the disability rights movement discuss. Many who are among the broader advocacy community make bundles of money off these transition programs. One or two lobbyists for these programs were leaders back when we all worked together for the ADA. All these vultures need to be stopped.
Another great shame in our community is that funds that are designated for programs to get people out of institutions and into the community, like Money Follows the Person, are being used to fund these sweatshops and sheltered workshops.
One suggestion for stopping such perverse use of funds might be easier under managed care, which, regardless of our calls for consumer directed, seems to be sweeping through state Medicaid plans. Stop all the various waivers and have everyone go through a functional assessment in a single point of entry system to receive the supports and services they need to live in the community. (Consumer directed would be an option under such a system).
As our friend Bob Kafka of ADAPT says, “We used to chant ‘LABEL JARS NOT PEOPLE.’ Now we have a chance to do just that in their state Medicaid plans.”
Bravo to National Disability Rights Network, Michael Bailey, Curt Decker and others who urged the feds to shine a bright light on these horrible sweatshops.