But others say the exemption creates meaningful job opportunities for the disabled that wouldn’t otherwise exist. Woodward Superintendent Jim Finch said the residents there benefit from not just the pay but from the work itself.
“It is part of a person’s self-esteem,” he said. “Oftentimes, I’ll go down to the payroll office when our clients come in and start picking up their checks on payday, on Friday. And, you know, whether it’s 50 cents or $300, they are just so excited. They want to show you their checks and show you that they get paid for doing work. It’s a big morale booster.”
Owens said, “That’s a very demeaning way of looking at this. Eleven cents an hour is almost an insult. This is a civil rights issue.”
According to the Iowa Department of Human Services, which runs the Woodward and Glenwood centers, 314 residents of the two facilities are paid less than the Iowa minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
it’s not just Ohio, it’s everywhere