Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Once a Leader, Wisconsin Lags in Finding Supported Work for People with Disabilities

Wisconsin was once on the cutting edge of moving people with disabilities into jobs where they work alongside non-disabled individuals.
That's not the case anymore.

Called integrated or supported employment, the state began in the 1970s and '80s pushing for people with disabilities to find jobs in the competitive work force, while providing them services, such as on-the-job coaching, to help them succeed.
The state and federal government provided grants to help boost change in the work force, offering corporate initiatives, building relationships among businesses and developing jobs.
It would be 20 years before some states would catch up to Wisconsin's integrated employment efforts, said Laura Owens, an education professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and president of APSE, a national disability employment rights organization.

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