"Bottom Dollars," an Award-winning Documentary on Inclusive Employment, is Screened Throughout Iowa:

Tammie Amsbaugh, CDD/UCEDD Program Manager, helped the Rooted in Rights documentary tour the state

July 25, 2018

CDD and the Iowa Department of Human Rights in partnership with the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council and Disability Rights Iowa hosted the screening in eight cities around Iowa. This 2016 film calls for the phase out of the sub-minimum wages and sheltered workshops, and offers solutions for fair wages and inclusive employment. The documentary features personal stories and expert interviews with advocates that have been working to improve the employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Following the film, local panelists of persons with disabilities, family members, service providers and policy makers discussed their perspectives related to subminimum wage employment and alternatives to segregated, subminimum employment in Iowa.  Iowa is ahead of the curve in state and local efforts to incentivize Competitive Integrated Employment as shown in this film. I significant number of Iowa Providers have eliminated or are working to eliminate their workshop and subminimum employment.  

The screenings where held in Iowa City, Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Des Moines, Creston, Dubuque, Waterloo, and Burlington and 188 individuals attended! Here are some of their comments:

  • The workshop our daughter attended paid min. wage & were very good to my daughter is now closed.  This movie was energizing.
  • A program that had its place in history to help get people in to the workforce when few if any options existed.  Now it is no longer viable or needed.
  • Our society is ready to move ahead with without it.
  • I worked at a sheltered workshop with individuals for 30 years and knew it was wrong then.
  • I believe they much like anything else.  You have what's the best intention for individuals and if they don't change with times certain issues become outdated.  I believe there may be an appropriate place for sheltered workshops.
  • I knew sheltered workshops weren't ideal but this event & the film showed how inadequate they really are in the current economy compared with meaningful work in the community.
  • I understand the need for activities and belongingness that folks need, but/and I also think people with disabilities deserve living wages and the opportunity to earn even more

Bottom Dollars is an original documentary from the disability rights group Rooted in Rights
You can view the movie and the trailer at BottomDollarsMovie.com. https://www.rootedinrights.org/videos/employment/bottom-dollars/