This past weekend, I had the opportunity to spend time with some great friends from Ohio who were in DC to visit me. We visited the Vietnam wall and the World War II memorial on Friday night. As I walked along the Vietnam wall, I was reminded of how many men and women have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Without this freedom I would not be here in DC for this amazing internship opportunity.
As I returned to the office on Monday, I received the materials to begin my next assignment. The agency is working on a hot topic related to employment for people with disabilities. There has been much debate nation wide about whether people with disabilities should be placed in competative, integrated employment or segregated facility based work such as sheltered workshops. Those who participate in facility based employment earn a salary much lower than the minimum wage. Some people support the use of sheltered workshops and sub minimum wage while, others are advocating to do away with it all together. My supervisor is preparing to present on this issue at an upcoming conference. My responsibility is to research statistics, facts and stories supporting the agency's stance and develop talking points for the presentation. While this is a big responsibility, I am honored to have the opportunity to be involved with a major project that could influence the lives of many people with disabilities. This research has been my obligation for this week. I am looking forward to celebrating Independance Day for the first time ever in DC with my family. I will share my experiences in next weeks blog.
Posted by Zach Holler.