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Dignified and meaningful employment
for people with disabilities

The Foundation of MASWM and Missouri's Workshops: Progress for People

1. Missouri Extended Employment Sheltered Workshops are based on the Missouri Model of development rather than the medical model used in many states. We value individual work ethic, skills development and productivity.

The "Missouri Model" of service delivery provides meaningful employment of people with disabilities through the production of goods and services for the private sector.

The medical model of service delivery, through intensive staff support and programmed development, relies heavily on public funds, and provides day activities with secondary emphasis on meaningful work.

2. Missouri Extended Employment Sheltered Workshops represent the most experienced employment specialists for people with disabilities in Missouri. (Established in 1965.)

In 1966, nine workshops provided employment for 300 people with disabilities.

In 1997, 90 workshops provided work for over 8,900 people with disabilities.

3. Missouri Extended Employment Sheltered Workshops have a solid track record in providing meaningful, dignified employment to persons with disabilities in Missouri.

People with disabilities, employed by Missouri Extended Employment Sheltered Workshops produce goods and services for Fortune 500 companies as well as small local businesses. A partial list of contracts include work opportunities in electro-mechanical and manual assembly, custom, high speed packaging, automated and computerized inspection and quality control, custom mailing, commercial laundry and janitorial work, data entry, machine operation, wood, metal and plastics fabrication, document preservation, and entrepreneurial enterprises.

4. Missouri Extended Employment Sheltered Workshops have been advocates for people with disabilities for over 32 years acting as a catalyst for development of other needed services and supports.

5. Missouri Extended Employment Sheltered Workshops are proven leaders in enabling people with disabilities to access a variety of vocational and personal options through direct service or referral networks.

(Same as item four above.)

6. Missouri Extended Employment Sheltered Workshops were instrumental in the support and passage of voter authorized county tax levies to assist people with developmental disabilities (Senate Bill 40) which provides for continued support of the local workshop and expanded service opportunities for people with disabilities in their local community.

The founders and supporters of Missouri Extended Employment Sheltered Workshops were the same persons who founded and supported the companion legislation Senate Bill 40 (voter authorized county tax levies to assist people with developmental disabilities) which was passed to provide local support for workshops and group homes. In 1996, the 80 Missouri counties that have Senate Bill 40 tax levies collected approximately $42,292,39 and provided approximately $6,921,392 to more than 45 workshops around the state. It is estimated that more than 25 percent of these funds are used for capital/equipment expenses. (Not all workshops receive Senate Bill 40 funds. Contact your local manager for more information.)

Senate Bill 52-(Sheltered Workshop Law) passed in 1965 (RSMo 178.900-178.960)

Senate Bill 40-(Voter authorized county tax levies to assist people with developmental disabilities) passed in 1969 (RSMo 205.968-205.972)

7. Missouri Extended Employment Sheltered Workshops are community based programs operated by local Boards of Directors responsive to the grassroots needs of their citizens with disabilities. Each workshop is unique to its own local community and circumstance.

There are 90 Sheltered Workshops in Missouri governed by over 1,000 local citizens serving as volunteers on boards of directors responsive to the needs of their communities.

8. Missouri Sheltered Workshops, in partnership with the State of Missouri, team to produce an outstanding return on investment for both taxpayers and people with disabilities.

Through Missouri's investment of $1.50 per hour per person, Missouri Sheltered Workshops provide services that otherwise would cost the taxpayer $9.27 per hour per person providing a return on investment of 618%.

A comparison of approximate hourly costs for some service options used by people with disabilities and purchased by Missouri's taxpayers:

Supported Employment: $22.50/hr/person

Community Integration: $15.00/hr/person

Day Habilitation: $ 6.00/hr/person

Sheltered Workshop: $ 1.50/hr/person

9. Missouri Sheltered Workshops, in partnership with business and industry, are an integral part of their local economies.

In 1996, Missouri Sheltered Workshops returned $6.05 to the community for every $1 of tax payers money invested. Missouri Sheltered Workshops generated $54,605,078 in sales. Sales combined with local and state revenues and grants contributed approximately $79,181,645 back into local economies through payrolls and purchase of goods and services.

10. Missouri Sheltered Workshops believe in the self worth of every person and their right to full participation in their local community, as they choose.

Missouri Sheltered Workshops actively involve persons with disabilities in the community through mobile work crews, stations in industry, Adopt-a-Highway projects, participation in civic organizations, supported utilization of public transit, participation in community fairs, tours, open houses, volunteerism, Special Olympics, and other opportunities that intersect the natural flow of life.

11. Missouri Sheltered Workshops, through safe and productive employment, provide meaningful family support.


Missouri sheltered Workshops were born of the dreams of families for the future of their sons and daughters. As successive generations have dreamed new dreams, we have been there to help make them a reality. Missouri Sheltered Workshops are committed to meeting the vision of the future for people with disabilities.

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MASWM The Missouri Association of Sheltered Workshop Managers
If you have questions, please contact:
Executive Director Katie Jones, – (314) 369-5244 or
President Aaron Martin – (816) 796-7070 or;
or Legislative Chair Kit Brewer – (314) 647-3300 or