Mentally Disabled Children Forced To Work For No Pay, Lawsuit Says

Dan Fastenberg
The Harold Birch Vocational Program did help its students get jobs. Jobs that paid 50 cents an hour.
The Harold Birch Vocational Program did help its students get jobs. Jobs that paid 50 cents an hour.

It's tough for disabled people to find work. In addition to whatever physical and mental challenges they may have, they often face discrimination in the workplace. As a result, vocational schools are often vital to integrating them into the workforce.

That's what makes the accusations in a recent lawsuit against a Providence, R.I., vocational school so distressing. According to the complaint, filed by the U.S. Justice Department, the school -- part of a public high school -- grossly mistreated developmentally disabled children, forcing them to work for little or no pay for years.