These provisions allowed employers to negotiate lower wages for potential workers with disabilities. In some cases, this might mean a job placement for someone who could not produce competitively. In other cases, it might mean productive workers with disabilities were not hired unless they (or the agency) agreed to apply for a certificate.

The far more usual use of the certificates, however, was in sheltered environments. By 2001, only 9% of certificates were in community businesses.

Workers at a food truck
Photo courtesy William Bronston, M.D.