How can I learn more about employment?

  • Disability Benefits 101 is a website that helps people with disabilities to learn how income might affect benefits and provides support for going to work.
  • The DHS Employment First webpage offers information on Minnesota’s Employment First efforts, employment services, training, resources and success stories.
  • The DEED website offers information, resources and services on employment. It has a section specific to job seekers with disabilities.
  • The Disability Hub MN website offers information, resources and services for people with disabilities and those who support them and has a section specific to employment.
  • The Minnesota Senior Corps website offers information about volunteering in the community.
  • The Senior LinkAge Line can connect people who want to volunteer to resources and organizations.
  • The MinnesotaHelp.Info website provides information about volunteering. To find resources, search “volunteer opportunities” or “retired and senior volunteer program.”

What is a sheltered workshop? Are they going to be closed?

The term “sheltered workshop” is an antiquated term used in the past to describe programs for people with disabilities that provided work in a “sheltered” environment. These programs are called center-based employment services, day training and habilitation programs, or more generally as day programs. Public funds, generally through Medicaid waiver or county dollars, provide coverage for these services. There is no current plan in Minnesota to close these types of services. However, there are many policies and plans in Minnesota that are increasing their focus on community integration and competitive, integrated employment. Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan, Employment First Policy, and other directives from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), and Department of Education and the Rehabilitation Services Administration are increasing their expectations of integration and outcomes related to employment and participation for people with disabilities. As a result, there is a focus in Minnesota to ensure that people with disabilities are supported in the most inclusive environments of their choice, sometimes that matches parent or guardian would want and others times it does not.

While day programs in Minnesota are not going to “close” in the traditional sense in the near future, providers are being expected to work closely with individuals, families, and state funders to ensure that people are supported in inclusive community-based settings, and that could look different than it has in years past.