Texas Statistics Highlighted in Report
- 109 – 14(c) certificate organizations pay subminimum wages in Texas.
- Approximately 10,000 individuals are in sheltered workshops paying subminimum wages in Texas; 66% of the organizations that reported their wages pay 100% of their workers subminimum wages.
- 44 of the 76 organizations that reported their wages pay less than $.50 per hour.
- 18 of the 72 reporting organizations also serve as the Representative Payee for their workers.
- Approximately 160 Community Rehabilitation Programs have contracts under the State Use Program throughout the state; 12 pay subminimum wages.
DRTx monitored twelve organizations during their investigation in: Brookshire, Brownwood, El Paso (2), Ft. Worth (3), Lubbock, Lufkin, San Antonio (2) and Victoria. A total of 1,830 individuals were reported as working at these organizations.
During the investigation, three critical and overarching concerns were found:
- Texas has systematic problems regarding fair wages, employment growth, and vocational opportunities for people with disabilities.
- Texans with disabilities in sheltered workshops are not being paid fairly.
- By relying on the sheltered workshop system, Texas is putting people with disabilities at risk of unnecessary segregation, isolation, and exploitation.
- Phase out of the subminimum wage and move toward fully competitive integrated employment;
- Provide more job training and development in Texas programs;
- Overhaul day habilitation services; and
- Remove barriers to hiring individuals with disabilities in state agencies.
- 14(c) certificate holders’ campaign to protect their ability to pay subminimum wages,
- Texas Workforce Commission will now oversee Vocational Rehabilitation and State Use program,
- Legislative interest in establishing the recommended 5-year transition plan.
Upcoming Advocacy Focus
- Expand advocacy groups providing education on these issues;
- Explore changes to state agency rules:
- Rep Payee and workshops,
- HCBS settings rules should support eliminating segregated settings for waiver participants,
- Separate residential providers from sheltered workshop operations in ICFDD;
- Expand use of employment supports (ABLE Act, SSI income limitations, etc.);
- Reform day habilitation services with a legislative fix.