An advocacy group is calling to phase out segregated sheltered workshops for Alabamians with disabilities.
Leaders of the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program say taxpayer money now going to the workshops would be better used to move Alabamians with disabilities into regular jobs, where they are part of the community.
ADAP Director Ellen Gillespie says people with disabilities who are grouped together into sheltered workshops often perform repetitive tasks for much less than minimum wage. She says Alabama has trailed many states in helping its residents with disabilities find regular jobs.
State Mental Health Commissioner Jim Reddoch said moving people with disabilities into regular jobs is the national trend because the federal Medicaid program has indicated it will quit paying for sheltered workshops.
The change could affect up to 4,500 Alabamians