Member's Press Release

Release Date: 01/15/2010

Sen. Randy White Del. David Walker

State Legislators Discuss Disabled Persons Employment Program

CHARLESTON - The West Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Inc. joined state senators and delegates Friday morning to discuss future funding for the state supported program.

“This organization is truly remarkable,” said Delegate David Walker (D-Clay). “Through their efforts, our challenged citizens get the opportunity to be the productive members of society we all know they can be, doing dignified work that we can all be proud of. I have supported and will always support these efforts.”

The program, created by the Legislature in 1984, uses Nonprofit Community Outreach programs to employ people who have disabilities.

“Basically what we are doing is asking for [the legislature’s] continued support for programs for people who have disabilities,” said Elizabeth Sampson, President of WV ARF.

Sampson said there was a 21 percent budget cut this past year which hindered the organizations progress. However, this did not stop them from helping hundreds of disabled persons around the state.

According to WV ARF’s annual report, they employed 1039 people with disabilities in the 2009 fiscal year, an increase of 216 from the previous year.

“It’s a godsend for a lot of our challenged citizens to gain full employment,” said Senator Randy White (D-Webster).

White joined Walker, Sampson and Bob Johnson of the Sheltered Workshop of Nicholas Co., Inc. to discuss this legislation over breakfast.

“It’s an opportunity for a meet and greet,” said Johnson. “With these guys’ schedules, it can be very difficult.”

White and Walker pledged continued support, citing the importance of the organization.

“I have always supported it and I look forward to continuing to support it,” White said.

PICTURED: WVARF “Sen. White (D-Webster) and Delegate Walker (D-Clay) converse with WV ARF President Elizabeth Sampson and member Bob Johnson while eating breakfast. The discussion included increasing funding after severe budget cuts hindered the program this past year.”

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