North Carolina workshops for the developmentally disabled are waning as more agencies look to place the disabled into mainstream jobs.
Mecklenburg County shut down all its adult day vocational programs at the beginning of July, and other state agencies that run similar programs have been closing or reducing production.
The so-called "sheltered workshops" have been operating since the 1960s, giving disabled adults a place to work and earn a paycheck in a community of peers. About 120 programs across North Carolina have served up to 10,000 clients a year in recent years.
But state officials are following a nationwide trend. They are now looking to place the disabled into part-time jobs that will give them employment options and the chance to integrate with others.
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