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Mark, thank you for your blog entry.  I appreciate your comments and can agree with you that we should not close sheltered workshops.  I have worked with adults with developmental disabilities for a number of years in both residental and vocational areas.  I see a gap between employment and the sheltered workplaces.  Employment options work well for individuals who can gain skills and eventually work independently, while sheltered workplaces or day programs work well for individuals who have limited skills or who need more support.  What about individuals who deeply desire to have meaningful work and engage with society (beyond recreational opportunities offered by sheltered day programs) but who will always need a level of support (making employment not an option).  Can we imagine creative ways to provide meaningful work to people with developmental disabilities who desire to be integrated and yet will need on-going support?  I hope and pray that we can.

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