Happy Friday Everyone!!!
When a paycheck really isn’t
I recently attended the employment First Summit and heard a lot about competitive, integrated employment as the first option for everyone when they start the process of looking for a job. While I have always believed that everyone can work, and sheltered workshops should be closed, I have thought about that even more this week.
What made me think about it so much this week is the vacation I took after the summit. I left Topeka and spent four days hanging out with my sister, niece, and great niece in Leavenworth. Why did this vacation make me think about life working in a sheltered workshop, you ask? At one time, in the not too distant past, many people who were blind spent their lives in these places working for almost nothing. Often times, their check for the week was under $20. Imagine trying to plan a vacation when you bring home $20 a week. Imagine doing anything fun that takes money when your pay for a week is $20 or less.
I took my vacation and actually spent a little money because I work in a competitive, integrated setting. I make money for the work that I do. While it is true that we will have to think outside of the box and do things like job carving and job sharing to get everyone in the competitive job market, considering the benefits, it is something we should definitely do.