Advocacy Group Sues Oregon Officials Over Sheltered Workshops, Hopes for National Change
Posted Jan 26, 2012 5:37 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Hoping that the case will help spur national change, an advocacy group for the disabled yesterday filed a class action suit (PDF) in federal court in Portland against top state officials in Oregon.
The United Cerebral Palsy Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington is seeking to shift the state's focus from providing low-paid jobs in subsidized so-called sheltered workshops to encouraging and training those with physical and mental challenges to find ordinary employment, the Oregonian reports.
Doing so, the group and individual named plaintiffs contend, would not only be better for disabled individuals, because they would earn more and be better integrated into the general community, but would save the state money in the long run, because individuals could better support themselves. Currently, the state spends some $30 million annually on sheltered workshops.