On July 2, The Oregonian published an article entitled “U.S. Justice Department threatens to sue Oregon over disabled worker programs.” Here’s a quick recap:
- DOJ is warning Oregon to help people with intellectual or physical disabilities find jobs in the community or the federal government will go to court and force the state to do it.
- Following a nine-month investigation, the DOJ sent a 20-page letter to the Oregon attorney general late last week outlining its problems with state programs offering employment and vocational services for disabled workers.
- The letter, signed by Thomas Perez, the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, notes that these disabled workers are segregated from the rest of the population, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Federal law requires states to provide services to people with disabilities in the most community-integrated setting possible.
- Bottom line - Too many in Oregon are forced to work sub-minimum-wage jobs doing rote tasks in what are called “sheltered workshops.”
At Happy Cup Coffee, our mission is threefold:
- Offer employment, a competitive wage and a full life to adults with disabilities in our local community – our People with Potential.
- Help create a better future for the disabled by donating 100% of our profits to vocational and recreational programming for this community.
- Deliver a responsible, great-tasting cup of coffee.
Fittingly, Our Founder, Rachel Bloom, felt it was her civic duty to respond to this article. Not only on behalf of Happy Cup Coffee and our People With Potential; but, for adults with disabilities everywhere. You can read her response entitled “Fixing Oregon’s ADA lapse by creating meaningful jobs for adults with disabilities” in today’s Oregonian’s “Metro” section in today’s paper – or you can follow the link here.
What do you think about this important issue?