The New York Times “This Land” columnist Dan Barry and video journalist Kassie Bracken continue to put a spotlight on the rights and stories of American workers with intellectual disabilities with Love and Independence in East Providence.
The Times documentary introduces Lori Sousa and Peter Maxmean, a Rhode Island couple about to get married. Lori and Peter met at Training Through Placement, a “sheltered workshop” program in North Providence, five years ago. The workshop, like many other programs once considered progressive alternatives to institutions, was supposed to train workers with disabilities to eventually be able to get jobs on the outside. Last year, federal investigators accused the workshop of underpaying its clients, some of whom had worked at Training Through Placement for decades, with pay as low as $1.57 a day.
Read Dan Barry’s article, “A Couple Gaining Independence, and Finding a Bond” at The New York Times.
Read an interview with Dan Barry and Kassie Bracken, and watch their previous documentary The Men of Atalissa, which explains what happened to a group of men with intellectual disability who lived and worked together in a small town in Iowa.