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My son, Matthew has worked at BCI Sheltered Workshop since graduating from high school. Without the workshop he would either be sitting a home with someone watching him – which would not give him much of a life. My only choice will be to place him in an Adult Day Care. This would at least offer him some type of socialization but he has enough understanding to know that it is a day care and that would be very traumatic to him. The workshop gives him a since of belonging like everyone else “going to work”.

Matthew is developmentally disabled with ADHA with multiple rods in his back from his scoliosis. He requires supervision, repetitive duties and even then still needs prompts to stay focused on the appropriate task. This does not allow him to fit in and have a job in the regular workplace. NO ONE would hire him.

He is one of many in today’s world that do not fit into the “normal” workplace. Without BCI and other similar sheltered workshops many people would be left on their own without any feeling of belonging. The workshop offers them the opportunity to feel productive, earn a paycheck, socialize and feel good about themselves.

Changing the law would hurt my son and many others. Sheltered workshops may not pay minimum wage but they help them with job strategy skills to move on to “normal” jobs in the workplace – if they are capable. If not they earn a wage based on their productiveness. No one is forced to work in a sheltered workshop. It is a choice.

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