• About Our Community

    About Our Community

    VIP Industries is one of the largest sheltered workshops in the state of Missouri and serves two counties, Cape Girardeau and Bollinger, along with parts of Stoddard and Scott county. We have a growing workforce of over 175 staff and employees, who work at our three production facilities located in Cape Girardeau, Fruitland, and Marble Hill, Missouri. Read More
  • Protect Sheltered Workshops

    Protect Sheltered Workshops

    Missouri AID has started the online petition "Protect Sheltered Workshops" and needs your help. Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? No matter where you live, sheltered workshops need your support throughout the United States. Here's the link: Protect Sheltered Workshops (Note: If you are having difficulty accessing the online petition, please try again using a different Internet browser. Internet Explorer users have reported difficulty with accessing the change.org website, but were successful with FireFox or Google Chrome. We apologize for the inconvenience.)Here's why it's important . . . Read More
  • Relay for Life

    Relay for Life

    The Relay for Life started in 1985 as a fundraising campaign for the American Cancer Society. Since then, Relay has evolved into a worldwide volunteer-driven fundraising event which raises over 4 billion annually. On Saturday, April 20th, 17 teams and almost 200 people in Bollinger County met at Twin City Park in Marble Hill, to participate in the Relay for Life. Regency Management participated in the event with 16 employees, staff, family, and friends to make up the “Regency Gang.” Read More
  • Summer Fitness

    Summer Fitness

    According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U. S. An inactive lifestyle is a top risk factor for heart disease which means regular exercise can help lower the risk. The benefits of regular exercise include strengthening the heart, lowering blood pressure, improving muscle tone, and reducing body fat to reach a healthy weight. Most people need at least 30 minutes of exercise per day to receive health benefits. If 30 minutes of time is too difficult, divide the activity into three 10-minute sessions instead. In addition to providing fitness equipment at work, VIP also makes sure to include a variety of fitness activities as part of the Off-Site Day Habilitation (OSDH) program. Summer is the perfect time to go outside as there are so many activities from which to choose. Three of the more popular OSDH fitness events include swimming, going to the gym, and visiting local parks. Read More
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Friday, May 26, 2017

Protect Sheltered Workshops

MAID_petition_photoMissouri AID has started the online petition "Protect Sheltered Workshops" and needs your help. Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? No matter where you live, sheltered workshops need your support throughout the United States. Here's the link:

Protect Sheltered Workshops

Here's why it's important . . .

People with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD), which includes mental retardation, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy, have the right to choose where they work and where they live. We believe that sheltered workshops are the only places where some individuals can work and function as productive members of the community.

Legislators in some states are already attempting to eliminate funding to sheltered workshops and force people with disabilities into supported/competitive employment. A vast number of individuals with I/DD who are capable of supported employment have already transitioned into the community. There are countless horror stories about individuals who have tried supported employment, and they fell in with the wrong group of individuals, were taken advantage of, sent to prison, or ended up walking the streets alone.

Sheltered workshops throughout the U. S. provide a safe environment for adults with I/DD to work, interact with their peers, and gain a sense of accomplishment. Other popular names for sheltered workshops include “community rehabilitation programs,” work activity centers,” or “vocational workshops.” Many workshops also provide transportation, off-site day habilitation programs, and opportunities to experience new things such as taking a vacation or going on a camping trip. Individuals who choose to work in sheltered workshops are happy, safe, fulfilled, and are among their friends and peers.

The ARC of the United States claims that people with disabilities “have had no choice but to work in sheltered, segregated programs that separate people from their communities.” Our response is that supported/competitive employment has been a choice for more than 20 years, through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Mental Health, and the Medicaid system. Statistics show many individuals with I/DD have not shown an interest in supported/competitive employment, and the majority who have tried it, ultimately return to sheltered employment.

Legislators claim that supported/competitive employment enables people with disabilities to live and work independently in the community. Our response is that it can potentially promote independence. In many cases, the individual ends up leaving a 29-hour a week job in a sheltered workshop for one where the individual only works one or two days a week for four hours a day. Working eight hours a week washing dishes alone in a restaurant kitchen is hardly integration into the community; however, current government standards accept this as a successful placement.

An alternative option, which is currently gaining ground, is to remove individuals with I/DD from sheltered workshops and place them in Day Habilitation programs – segregated programs where they receive no monetary wages! Each individual has an innate right to have the opportunity to work, earn money, and gain a sense of accomplishment and dignity, while contributing toward their own standard of living. Eliminating sheltered workshops as an employment choice, denies individuals with I/DD the human inalienable right to be a productive member of our society.

Community employment is not the answer for everyone. We need sheltered workshops! We should be creating more employment opportunities for people with disabilities – not eliminating options. Let your voice be heard and speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. ADA and Section 504 in no way meant to take choice or any other kind of employment option away from persons with I/DD. It is our responsibility to provide opportunities and support for individuals with developmental disabilities. Do not deprive them of their choices and force them into settings which will diminish their quality of life. Help us protect sheltered workshops across the nation!

 

Parent Category: AID

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