NEW report from the Developmental Disabilities Network regarding employment in Michigan:  115075_mpa_employment_first_rprt_prf5

“This report uses data never before collected to paint an accurate picture of the actual state of employment for individuals with disabilities in Michigan,” said Elmer L. Cerano, Executive Director of MPAS. “While so much effort is going into assisting our state in its economic recovery, Michigan must be more aggressive in including what is the country’s single largest untapped workforce.  People with disabilities in Michigan have marketable skills and a documented strong desire to work. The fact that we have over 8,000 of our citizens being placed in segregated work environments making an average $2.75 per hour is simply unacceptable. The workers deserve better and we must do better.”

According to MPAS ” Key findings from the report include:

  • 60 percent of individuals with disabilities in Michigan want a job in their community; however, only 17 percent of them have one;
  • There are over 70 non-profit Community Rehabilitation Programs operating sheltered workshops (located in 39 Michigan counties) paying their workers with disabilities significantly less than minimum wage;
  • These sheltered workshops account for over 8,000 individuals with disabilities being compensated an average wage of $2.75/hour;
  • Approximately 23 percent of employees with disabilities earned under $1/hour, while 47 percent of all employees earned below $2 per hour and;
  • 69 percent of individuals with developmental disabilities who are “working” and served by Community Mental Health Services Programs (CMHSPs) in Michigan are doing so in segregated, non-competitive employment settings.”
  • See more at:

Services and Supports:  Many people with disabilities obtain services and supports through the Michigan Department of Community Health and the Community Mental Health system.   These systems can be complicated to learn.   Call your local CMH to ask if you are eligible for services. CMH_directory_428570_7


The Arc of Michigan offers a Consumer and Family Guide for people with disabilities.  ARC_brochure_3-24_102655_7   This guide outlines the CMH service system, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and many other issues.

The Arc offers Leaders In Policy Advocacy (LIPA), a leadership development program that trains and supports participants to become leaders in the disability rights movement.

The Arc supports Michigan Partners for Freedom which helps people learn about key concepts in Michigan developmental disability services.

The Michigan Department of Community Health offers the following important guides regarding self determination, person centered planning:


The State of Michigan’s Disability Resource site links users to housing, employment, Medicaid, Medicare and benefits.  – wide ranging resources including employment, health, housing and education.


Resources for Aging and Developmental Disabilities


Developmental Disability and Ageing by Gregory O’Brien and Lewis Rosenbloom.  Includes a chapter on CP and Aging.

Aging and Developmental Disability; Current Research, Programming and Practice Implications by Joy Hammel and Susan Nochajski

Online resources:

UCP National Office CP and Aging

Scope CP and Ageing (a UK site)