Your Views: Sheltered workshops serving those with disabilities indeed at risk in state

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Monday, August 25, 2014

In her Aug. 22 article, Catherine W. Idzerda tried to present a balanced story on sheltered workshops (also called facility-based pre-vocational and day programs), such as KANDU and Riverfront in Janesville.

However, it may have left the impression that families of disabled individuals utilizing these programs need not worry about their possible closure. The fact is that there has been a nationwide movement in recent years to close facilities like these.

Several states have already closed them; others are in the process of closing them through “no new entrants” policies. And despite the statement from Beth Swedeen, quoted in the story, the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities has in fact recommended that the Department of Health Services “create a no new entrants policy to facility-based day and pre-vocational settings.”

I believe Health Services Secretary Kitty Rhodes is doing her best to preserve services for the disabled in Wisconsin, but even she cannot guarantee that the federal government will not cut off Medicaid funding for them. There is ample reason for families to be concerned.







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