[Nfbnet-members-list] Tomorrow is Fix WIA Wednesday! Sample E-mail to Send Senators

Sloan, Rose rsloan at nfb.org
Tue Jan 14 15:00:43 UTC 2014


On Wednesday, January 15, 2014 we need to tell 
our Senators that it is time to #FixWIA.  Below 
is the email I plan to send to my Senators.  I 
encourage you to use this letter as a template 
(or create your own) to inform your Senators about the problems with WIA.

Thanks for all of your work. Let’s get this done!



Dear Senator Durbin,

I am writing to voice my concerns about S. 1356, 
the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment 
Act (WIA).  Although I know the reauthorization 
of WIA is overdue, I just cannot support the current bill as it is written.

During the 1990s, the disability community fought 
really hard for language that would not allow a 
vocational rehabilitation case to be closed by a 
placement in a sheltered workshop. The current 
bill language of Section 511, a controversial 
section among the disability community, will 
allow vocational rehabilitation counselors to 
successfully close cases by placing their clients 
in subminimum-wage sheltered 
workshops.  Subminimum-wage sheltered work does 
not come close to adequately training people with 
disabilities for mainstream competitive 
employment.  In fact, research shows that people 
with disabilities have to unlearn the habits 
taught in sheltered workshops in order to get a 
mainstream job.  Ninety-five percent of people 
with disabilities who enter sheltered workshops 
never obtain the employment they are being 
“trained” for.  In other words, once a person 
with disability is placed in a sheltered 
workshop, their full potential is almost never 
reached.  They must remain on public assistance for the rest of their lives.

I am also concerned with the bill language moving 
the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) 
from the Department of Education to the 
Department of Labor. There is no research that 
shows this move will improve the efficiency and 
outcomes of the RSA.  It is important to keep in 
mind that everyone needs an education before 
he/she obtains a job.  For many, this education 
comes in the form of college and/or graduate 
school.  For people with severe disabilities, 
this might mean having access to quality 
rehabilitation services to develop their unique 
skills and talents.  This process is an 
educational process­RSA should stay in the Department of Education.

Senator Durbin, I need your help.  Please 
consider offering an amendment that will strike 
Section 511 of Title V of WIA, and remove the 
language that transfers RSA from Education to Labor.

Thank you.  I look forward to hearing from you 
soon.  If you have any questions or concerns, 
feel free to reach me at <mailto:rsloan at nfb.org>rsloan at nfb.org.


Rose Sloan

Rose Sloan
Government Affairs Specialist

“Eliminating Subminimum Wages for People with Disabilities”

National Federation of the Blind
200 East Wells Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
<mailto:rsloan at nfb.org>rsloan at nfb.org
(410)-659-9314 ext 2441

The National Federation of the Blind needs your 
support to ensure blind children get an equal 
education; to connect blind veterans with the 
training and services they need; and to help 
seniors who are losing vision continue to live 
independent and fulfilling lives. To make a 
donation, please go to <http://www.nfb.org>www.nfb.org.

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