Mom worries that changes in federal law will hinder disabled daughter’s progress

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BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – Federal changes are aimed at better integrating those with disabilities into the community. But a Baldwin City mom says they stifle her disabled daughter's progress.

It all has to do with what are known as sheltered workshops. Right now, Sherry Golden's 38-year old daughter Jennifer takes part in a sheltered workshop at an Ottawa facility. Because of changes to federal law , the facility will have to change the type of services it can provide, which means no more sheltered workshops.

The facility is swapping them in favor of ones aimed at better integrating people with disabilities, but because of Jennifer's physical and limitations; Sherry doesn't believe the unsheltered workshops are right for her daughter.

'Because she functions on a three or four-year-old level, she would have to have a job coach with her every moment,” Sherry explained. “Instead of looking at the solution they had, they've done away with it and created a whole new problem."

Sherry worries that these are the beginning signs of what's known as "warehousing” simply housing the disabled without providing any constructive activity.

We weren't able to reach the facility where Jennifer works for comment. We reached out to the Department of Justice, which oversees the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A spokesperson responded after hours directing us to the Department of Health and Human Services. We'll let you know if we get a response.

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