Policy change will affect disabled workers - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Policy change will affect disabled workers

Policy change will affect disabled workers

by Elizabeth Fay

WISCONSIN (WAOW)--Thousands of people with disabilities could lose their jobs. People with disabilities statewide are employed at facility-based work programs. With a policy change, they will eventually lose funding to work in these centers.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, or DHS, says facility based centers should not be a permanent option. They say it should be a temporary position until people with disabilities secure employment in the mainstream workforce.

Pam Ross, President of the Opportunity Development center, says their program already provides placement services but the economy is tough and employers are not eager to hire.

"I don't think the placements are out there in the community to support the people with some of the more significant needs, yet they are doing really really well with the employment within ODC," says Ross.

According to the draft, DHS says the policy will allow for a gradual transition out of long-term facility-based work. The policy is not yet set in stone. DHS is still working out the details. The contract will be effect January 1st.




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