Date of Publication



Recent studies demonstrate that people with developmental disabilities are at increased risk for preventable illnesses. In our study, we examined several variables suspected to be major contributing factors, with emphasis on job security and employment. The development of sheltered workshops was initially an attempt to promote employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), though at subminimum wages.

We explored whether these workshops allow for adequate community and healthcare engagement that is necessary for overall health and wellbeing. We designed a study that allowed us to statistically compare health-related data among states that eliminated sheltered workshops with those continuing this practice. These results were compared with internally available data (N=79) at Champlain Community Services (CCS), a specialized employment organization in Vermont serving people with IDD. We quantified health outcomes based on Medicaid standards which include annual wellness visits with a PCP, annual dental visits, and ensuring individuals are up to date on vaccinations. Additionally, we quantified other predictors for general wellbeing including current smoking status and body mass index (BMI).

The results of our study indicated that people with IDD from states that have eliminated sheltered workshops tend to have better health outcomes with notable exemplary outcomes in consumers involved with CCS.

We anticipate the results of this study will assist organizations, such as CCS, by articulating the impact of sheltered workshops on people living with IDD and receiving subminimum wage.


Everse, Stephen

Larner College of Medicine

Reilly, Mike

Champlain Community Services (CCS)


Champlain Community Services (CCS)


Disability and Health, Health-Related Quality of Life & Well-Being, Mental Health and Mental Disorders, Social Determinants of Health

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

Health Benefits Are Associated With Employment Status For People With Intellectual Disabilities