We need to get it together for the disabled.
August 12, 2014
The employment rate for people with disabilities in Wisconsin is less than a third of the general population. People with disabilities who do work make thirty percent less than of the general work force and twenty seven percent live in poverty. Putting the disabled to work is a great idea, but Governor Walker needs to offer a tax break to companies and businesses who hire the disabled. The yearly nine hundred dollar income limit needs to be eliminated. It’s a disgrace to expect the disabled to work for nine hundred dollars a year. Regular people wouldn’t stand for that! Bureaucrats want to eliminate sheltered workshops integrating the disabled into the regular work environment. This is a noble idea, but it won’t work for physical cognitive disabled people who lack the mental and the physical abilities to work in the work environments. Companies are not going to hire these people. Sheltered workshops are needed to provide employment and social opportunities for physically and cognitively disabled people. The State needs to increase revenue for the sheltered workshops not to eliminate these workshops. Some of the workshops are run down buildings that need to be upgraded. The reality is that there will always be more physically and cognitively disabled people than college educated, talented, physically disabled people. For the cognitively disabled having some spending money to buy candy at Wal-Mart or go to McDonald’s is a big deal. For a college educated physically disabled person like me who can work eight hours a day making nine hundred dollars a year doesn’t cut it. I want to go to a good restaurant, see a play at the Overture Center or go to any game, but that takes money. A talented physically disabled person shouldn’t have to work for pennies. If Governor Walker is serious about putting the disabled to work, then stop cutting Medicaid and pay care attendants thirteen dollars an hour. Without good care workers the disabled can’t work. The bus is always late. I hate to say this, but putting the disabled to work is impossible without some major changes to the system and society. It going to take more money. Society needs view the disabled as valuable citizens not as “cripples.”