Monday, April 25, 2011

Legislation to Protect Disabled Adults Signed Into Law

Rep. Pat Ownbey
Legislation that would ensure individuals with developmental disabilities are protected in the handful of sheltered workshops that do not contract with the state has been signed into law.
House Bill 1228, by state Rep. Pat Ownbey, would authorize the Department of Human Services to issue, modify and revoke licenses for sheltered workshops. The legislation would also authorize DHS to inspect and evaluate workshops and require criminal background checks for all employees of a sheltered workshop.

“The legislation provides minimal standards for DHS to enforce,” Ownbey said. “These facilities generally have few problems, but because disabled adults are more vulnerable to abuse, I think it is appropriate that there are safeguards in place to ensure their well-being. Many of the sheltered workshops in the state are already overseen by the Department of Human Services Developmental Disabilities Services Division. There is no additional cost for DHS to inspect and license the remaining sheltered workshops that do not contract with the state.”

The new law will take effect on Nov. 1, 2011.
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