The reason businesses get away with paying disabled workers a few dollars an hour, is because there are hard asset and income limits for access to services.
If the disabled get paid minimum wage, they lose not just disability payments, but access to housing, medical care, social supports, etc. Yes, they might be making more *money*, but most of the other services they get are not based on how disabled they are, they’re based on how much money they have- “too much” money = no services. And many of those services aren’t available outside of state disability agencies.
The real problem isn’t (just) greedy corporations, it’s twofold- first, the cultural gaslighting that adult human beings in our society must have a Real Job to be valued and “productive”.
This is so very pervasive that special-ed kids in high school are given “vocational training” for important jobs like…sorting recycling and folding towels. Emptying the trash and sweeping floors.
Menial jobs, that aren’t being done by anyone else, so we’ll give them to the disabled kids, and by God they’ll feel productive! Like they’re a Real Adult! Someone who can EARN their way, and not just be a drain on society! (/sarcasm)
The second issue is that getting access to disability services isn’t based on being disabled. Although there is a lengthy and often demeaning process to prove you’re “disabled enough”, the first barrier to access is finances- you must be “poor enough” to apply; and you must stay poor, or lose your benefits.
To solve this problem, we need to end means-testing for the disabled.
It should be enough for us, as a wealthy, compassionate society, for someone to say “I need assistance and support existing in this world that is designed for able bodied and neurotypical people”, and we should make sure they get the support they need.
Anything else is demanding that the disabled prove themselves worthy to receive the largesse of society, and a way for the Haves to maintain control over the Have Nots.
Only Basic Income, along with need-based services (rather than means-based services) treats all humans with inherent dignity and worth.