Michigan CILs and SILC Plan Public Input Session at Subminimum Wage Sheltered Workshop April 6 (Updated)

Update (March 23, 2017): This event has been moved to the Saginaw Intermediate School District (ISD)! 

On April 6, 2017, Michigan’s Centers for Independent Living (CILs) and Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) – collectively known as Disability Network – will hold a public input event at a sheltered workshop. Input will be used to develop a “Common Disability Agenda”.

No Subminimum Wage - End 14c - Subminimum Wage = DiscriminationThe event will take place at SVRC – a Saginaw business that segregates disabled employees and pays them less than minimum wage. According to the Department of Labor, SVRC pays subminimum wages to 264 disabled employees.

Obviously, this is not an appropriate venue for a public input session. In Independent Living, we don’t ask people to enter segregated environments in order to give public opinion on inclusive communities! Furthermore, the idea that Michiganders with disabilities want our CILs and SILCs to have a common agenda with the businesses financially exploiting the disability community is absurd

Protesters blocked by police barricade signs say end subminimum wage and Capitol not ADA compliantThe formal partnership between Michigan’s Independent Living program and subminimum wage employers (also known as sheltered workshops) has been documented extensively by Peer Action Alliance.

It is not normal for Centers for Independent Living to partner with sheltered workshops! Centers for Independent Living are funded by taxpayers and are required by law to be controlled by local disability communities. Consumer-controlled Centers for Independent Living do not partner with subminimum wage employers!

In Michigan, our CILs have been taken over by people who openly oppose disability rights. When Congressionally-mandated organizations accept taxpayer dollars to promote Independent Living philosophy, then turn around and openly oppose civil rights and our most basic IL values, something must be done.

Take Action!

The Independent Living Administration has the resources and the legal responsibility to provide oversight. Email Bob Williams, Director of the Independent Living Administration, at Bob.Williams@acl.hhs.gov. The message: Please provide oversight to Michigan’s broken Independent Living Program!

Save MI CILs - Oversight Now!Unfortunately, all of Michigan’s 14 Centers for Independent Living declined provide any explanation for their decision when contacted. The following parties are responsible to correct this situation: 

  1. Rodney Craig, SILC Executive Director
  2. Terri Robbins, SILC Advocacy Coordinator
  3. Sara Grivetti, Disability Network/Michigan Executive Director / SILC Member
  4. Robin Bennett, SILC Chair
  5. Jim Whalen, Blue Water CIL Executive Director / SILC Member / Disability Network/Michigan Board Member
  6. Tracy Knight, Disability Network West Michigan Executive Director
  7. Mark Pierce, Disability Network Capital Area Executive Director
  8. Kelly Winn, Disability Network Oakland and Macomb Executive Director
  9. Dave Bulkowski, Disability Advocates of Kent County Executive Director
  10. Rick Sides, Disability Network Wayne County / Detroit Executive Director
  11. Jim Moore, Disability Network Northern Michigan Executive Director
  12. Sarah Peurakoski, Superior Alliance for Independent Living Executive Director
  13. Todd Whiteman, Disability Network Lakeshore Executive Director
  14. Steve Locke, Disability Network Mid-Michigan President & CEO
  15. Lesia Pikaart, disability Connection (Jackson) Executive Director
  16. Joel Cooper, Disability Network Southwest Michigan Executive Director
  17. Luke Zelley, Disability Network Flint Executive Director
  18. Carolyn Grawi, Ann Arbor CIL Executive Director and CEO
  19. Lisa Cook-Gordon, SILC Member
  20. Kelsey Kleimola, SILC Member
  21. Aaron Andres, SILC Member
  22. Alexander Darr, SILC Member
  23. Michael Hamm, SILC Member
  24. Rebecca Parten, SILC Member
  25. Gabriella Burman, SILC Member
  26. Mairead Warner, SILC Member

Update (March 23, 2017): This event has been moved to the Saginaw Intermediate School District (ISD)! 

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the Executive Director of Disability Network Wayne County / Detroit. That has been corrected in the list above.


One thought on “Michigan CILs and SILC Plan Public Input Session at Subminimum Wage Sheltered Workshop April 6 (Updated)

  1. March 14 2017 to MISILC SVRC

    Paul Joseph Harcz, Jr.

    1365 E. Mt. Morris Rd.

    Mt. Morris, MI 48458



    Re: Shelterred Shops not integrated


    Rodney Craig, ED, MISILC

    Robin Bennett, Chair MISILC

    Dear Rodney And Robin,

    I point your attention to the following from the Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council’s web site:

    “Meetings and Events:

    The Michigan Statewide Indpendent Living Council will be hosting a series of events to deveop a consumer led common disability agenda

    Please join us and provide input into this document which will drive our efforts for full intergration and inclusion for persons with disabilites in all

    aspects of community living.

    List of 3 items

    • Saginaw Event, April 6th, 12 p.m to 3 p.m. SVRC, 1000 Tuscola Saginaw MI 48607

    • Marquette Event, April 19th 12 p.m to 3 p.m. Peter White Public LIbrary, 217 N. Front Street, Marquette MI 49855

    • East Lansing Event, May 1st, 12 p.m to 3 p.m 819 Abbot Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823”

    Now, you claim to be holding these events to promote integration when SVRC violates the integration mandate, as a Facility Based CRO? In fact shelterred
    shops violate the integration mandate established in Lane v. Brown directly and in L.c. V. Olmstead indirectly by their very nature. Moreover, they are
    not deemed competitive,integrated settings in WIOA! In addition SVRC holds 14 c certificates and pays numerous workers with disabilities less than even
    a minimum wage!

    The fascination with CROs and this type of naked fealty to them belies the stated employment first principles adopted on paper, but violated in reality
    by the Michigan SILC.

    I am outraged by the continued collusion with these violators of human and civil rights by MISILC.

    Please, comment and please, pass my comments on to other MISILC members

    Nothing About Us Without Us,

    Joe Harcz

    Cc: ILA/ACL

    Cc: MCRS

    Cc: MPAS

    Cc: several


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s