Sheltered Workshop Closures — A Follow-up

order arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;”>By N. Fisher

I have been unable to discover how many workshops have closed across the Nation or even in California. All I have learned is that most have closed their doors.

One of the few to survive is Exceptional Children’s Foundation (ECF) in Inglewood, CA, a suburb of Los Angeles.

Scott Bowling, ECF’s CEO recently stated, and I paraphrase: Everything changes and we must be able to change with it. We have choices and this is another path to bring leaders, staff and families pathways to employment and diversity. 

Upon speaking with Mr. Bowling and two others at ECF I learned that ECF has devised and is implementing a new type of Workshop, titled APP. The APP flyer states: “Program Overview: Participants who have expressed a desire to work and earn a pay check, whose productivity is lower than average will have an option to enroll in the Exceptional APP Program. APP stands for Accelerated Participant Preparation . The program will allow participants to perform paid work and gain Life Skills on a path to employment in the community.

“Program Format & Objective: 1. Participants will receive 1.5 hour of paid work per week and receive a minimum of 3.5 hours of daily Life Skills Training. A rigorous community based component will be included to employ the life skills learned. 2. Program objectives  would be unique to each participant and their needs….”

This program will provide work and Life Skills such as Preparing for Independence, Community Awareness, Hands on Learning such as Riding the Train, Work Appropriateness Skills, Self Advocacy Skills, Healthy Lifestyle Skills and much more.

Mr. Bowling added that ECF is willing to be a resource path and offer coaching guidance to anyone involved in that field.  To be connected to someone who can help you call the main Los Angeles number 310/737-9393 or 323/735-1958 or the internet: ECF.net.

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Ms. Fisher often connects with disabled advocates and organizations, visits Sheltered Workshops and speaks with related State, and Federal offices. For more information or to join her in efforts on behalf of the Disabled, contact her at:[email protected]

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