Bargain Mart has kicked off a new initiative which aims to hire disabled students from nearby high schools. The program hopes to provide them with valuable work experience and a small taste of the exploitation that their nondisabled retail-working classmates face daily.
The program, titled “Dis’Ability To WORK,” gives the teenage participants opportunities to face unsafe working conditions, interact with rude customers, support wealthy business conglomerates and earn poverty-level wages. Some even have the chance to work while violently ill and contagious. Disabled sophomore Joshua told us, “I always heard kids saying things about how they hate their jobs and how they want to die, but I never understood why, until now.”
In a promotional advertisement for the program, a hearing-impaired girl asks for the day off so she can attend a doctor’s appointment. Her supervisor enthusiastically says no before informing her she’s working a double that day. A voiceover follows, saying, “At Bargain Mart, we treat ALL employees equally.”
One parent who supports the program told us, “Giving these kids the chance to actualize their distance from the means of production is an important step towards becoming an adult. If they can realize that their disability doesn’t exempt them from the relentless burden of the growth-centric U.S. economy, they’re that much closer to the final step: succumbing.”