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