Star Tribune Quotes ICI Director on Minnesota's Vocational Rehabilitation Cuts

Wed Oct 26 2016
Star Tribune photo illustrating this article.

The Star Tribune quotes ICI director David R. Johnson in its recent article, “Surge of Clients Strains Job Training Program for Disabled Minnesotans.” The article explains how new clients and new rules have pushed Minnesota’s vocational rehabilitation program to its limits, with over 1,000 people put on waiting lists. According to the article, “State officials have projected that, without millions of dollars in new funding, the program could reach capacity by late 2017 and then would be forced to cease providing services for new enrollees. Those most affected would be young people with significant disabilities just out of high school, who are starting to transition into mainstream jobs, say vocational experts. Many would be left to fend for themselves in a state labor market regarded as unfriendly to people with disabilities.”

Johnson views the cuts to vocational services a “human rights issue.” The growing wait lists, he told the newspaper, probably violate the Olmstead decision. The article leaves the last word to Johnson: “It must be horribly painful for young people transitioning to the workforce to be told that, ‘Oh, by the way, you won’t be getting any services and we’re putting you on a wait list.’ ”