While the Baker administration appears to be moving ahead with a policy of closing all remaining sheltered workshops for developmentally disabled persons in Massachusetts, records show that relatively few people so far have been transferred from the workshops to the “integrated employment settings” that are supposed to replace them.
Confirming our concerns, the data from the Department of Developmental Services show that most of those people have been transferred to community-based day programs funded by DDS or MassHealth.
This has financially benefited corporate DDS providers that run the day programs and that have been among the most vocal proponents of shutting down the sheltered workshops. In what we consider to be an example of the inappropriate influence of private interests in DDS policy, two of those provider organizations actually helped draft a key DDS document that called for the workshop closures.
According to DDS records, the number of participants in sheltered workshops dropped by 1,166 between August 2014 and August 2015…
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