Doll (1967) emphasized that the sheltered workshop is a means rather than an end, and should be used to effect productive and competitive employment.
Progress in serving people with mental disability in sheltered workshops by the 1970s is most apparent in the work of those using behavior analysis techniques to teach persons with severe retardation to handle relatively complex workshop tasks (Bellamy et al., 1970; Gold, 1973, 1975).
A more recent criticism of sheltered workshops has been leveled by Schuster (1990).
Parent, Hill and Wehman (1989) outlined the key aspects of facility conversion from sheltered workshop operations to supported employment services.
Administrators from all facilities providing sheltered work in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada participated in the survey.
The results of this study indicate that personnel in 70% of the sheltered workshops in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada attempt to teach job responsibility and social-vocational competencies in addition to task production competence to workers with mental retardation.
Whitehead (1986) suggested that most sheltered workshops will begin to shift their focus to transitional programming.