Ending Sheltered Workshops in Oregon & Beyond

In 2000, Paula Lane began working in a sheltered workshop in Beaverton, Oregon. In 2010, she earned her biggest paycheck – $53.66 for 81 hours of work. As lead plaintiff in a federal class action lawsuit (Lane v. Brown), Paula fights for the rights of an estimated 7,000 Oregonians who have been or are at risk of being segregated in sheltered workshops.

On September 8th, 2015, state officials, the U. S. Department of Justice, and attorneys for individuals with disabilities negotiated a Settlement Agreement that will provide these individuals with opportunities to work in competitive employment instead of being segregated in sheltered workshops where they earn sub-minimum wages for performing mundane tasks such as folding bags and packaging gloves. Sheltered workshops offer people with disabilities no opportunity for training or advancement. They segregate people with disabilities from their communities and they violate civil rights determined by both the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) and the Olmstead Decision (1999).

This year’s TASH Conference will feature an array of sessions directly related to Lane v. Brown and ending the unnecessary segregation of people with disabilities in Oregon and beyond. These sessions will provide attendees with practical information and inspiration in order to build capacity and create change at the local level. Below is a list of more than 25 sessions on transition, customized employment, and other related topics, to be featured at the 2015 TASH Conference in Portland, Oregon, December 2nd through 4th.

TASH Transition Roundtable: Expanding Secondary Inclusion and Improving Postschool Outcomes
The TASH Transition Roundtable is a special event that will comprise of a 100-minute open discussion, and a 50-minute working discussion where invited participants will draft a document. The purpose of this Roundtable is to respond to three broad questions:

1) What is TASH’s position on the configuration and makeup of transition services both during high school, 18-21 transition programs, and adult services?
2) What is TASH’s unique contribution to the issues associated with transition to adulthood for youth with significant disabilities?
3) What can we do (individually and collectively) to facilitate changes in transition practices and programs, supporting families, professionals and systems to start “where they are?”

Advancing Employment First: Bridging the Future from the Workshop to the Workplace
This short-course Wednesday Workshop will be delivered by teams of presenters around transitioning from sheltered workshop to real work for real pay settings. At the end of the workshop, all presenters will participate in an open discussion with the audience. Topics include:

  • Creating a Bridge from Workshops to Community Employment | Michael Callahan, Therese Fimian, Vickie Calder
  • Shifting Away from Sheltered Workshops: Building Peer to Peer Supports | Ryley Newport, Ross Ryan, Justin Connolly, Gabrielle Guedon, Kaaren Londahl
  • From Workshop to Work: Video Case Studies of the Journey through Discovery | Julie Christensen, Gillian Young-Miller, Jeanne Stewart, Kayt Davidson, Tammy Reynolds
  • Overview of State of Washington’s Employment Outcomes for People with Developmental Disabilities | Brian Nichols, Branda Matson, Megan Burr
  • Advancing Employment First through Technology & Engaging Employers | Jim Swain, Gina Price
  • Grounded Change: Re-Making Services and Supports with Individuals and Families | Sarah Schulman and InWithForward Staff

Breakout Sessions:

More Transition Sessions
More Employment Sessions