[Nfbnet-members-list] Legislative Action Needed: WIA

Sloan, Rose rsloan at nfb.org
Fri Mar 28 20:37:06 UTC 2014

Fellow Federationists:

I write to ask you to immediately contact your 
Representatives who are on the House Education 
and Workforce Committee regarding the Workforce 
Investment Act (WIA). This bill is currently 
being pre-conferenced which means the House and 
Senate are working to resolve the differences 
between the two versions of the bills.

As you know, we are adamantly opposed to Section 
511 of Title V and the transfer of the 
Rehabilitation Services Administration to the 
Department of Labor, which are in the Senate 
version of WIA. Now is the time to urge House 
members of the Education and Workforce committee 
to voice their objections to these two provisions.

Here is a call script that you can use when 
contacting your Representatives.Please call as 
soon as possible, but no later than by next Friday:

Hi! My name is ________. It is my understanding 
that discussions are being held to resolve 
differences between the House and Senate versions 
of the Workforce Investment Act. Since 
Representative ________ is on the Education and 
Workforce committee, I am calling to voice my 
objection to Section 511 of S. 1356, which 
endorses segregated subminimum wage training and 
employment. I am also concerned with the language 
that diminishes the quality of rehabilitation 
services by transferring the Rehabilitation 
Services Administration from the Department of 
Education to the Department of Labor. I urge 
Representative _________ to ensure that these 
sections are removed before the WIA language is finalized. Thank you!

If you are asked for the House companion bill number, it is H.R. 803.

Below is a list of Representatives who are on the 
Education and Workforce Committee. If your state 
does not have a member on the committee, please 
contact Chairman Kline (R, MN). We need him to 
know how important this issue is to us. His 
office phone number is: <tel:(202)%20225-2271>(202) 225-2271.

Arizona, Matt Salmon, <tel:(202)%20225-2635>(202) 225-2635

Arizona, Raúl Grijalva, <tel:(202)%20225-2435>(202) 225-2435

California, Duncan D. Hunter, <tel:(202)%20225-5672>(202) 225-5672

California, Howard "Buck" McKeon,<tel:(202)%20225-1956>(202) 225-1956

California, George Miller, <tel:(202)%20225-2095>(202) 225-2095

California, Susan Davis, <tel:(202)%20225-2040>(202) 225-2040

Colorado, Jared Polis, <tel:(202)%20225-2161>(202) 225-2161

Connecticut, Joe Courtney, <tel:(202)%20225-2076>(202) 225-2076

Florida, Frederica Wilson, <tel:(202)%20225-4506>(202) 225-4506

Georgia, Tom Price,<tel:(202)%20225-4501>(202) 225-4501

Indiana, Larry Bucshon, <tel:(202)%20225-4636>(202) 225-4636

Indiana, Luke Messer, <tel:(202)%20225-3021>(202) 225-3021

Indiana, Susan Brooks, <tel:(202)%20225-2276>(202) 225-2276

Indiana, Todd Rokita, <tel:(202)%20225-5037>(202) 225-5037

Iowa, David Loebsack <tel:(202)%20225-6576>(202) 225-6576

Kentucky, Brett Guthrie, <tel:(202)%20225-3501>(202) 225-3501

Massachusetts, John Tierney, <tel:(202)%20225-8020>(202) 225-8020

Michigan, Tim Walberg, <tel:(202)%20225-6276>(202) 225-6276

Minnesota, John Kline, <tel:(202)%20225-2271>(202) 225-2271

Nevada Joe Heck,<tel:(202)%20225-3252>(202) 225-3252

New Jersey, Rush D. Holt, Jr., <tel:(202)%20225-5801>(202) 225-5801

New York, Carolyn McCarthy, <tel:(202)%20225-5516>(202) 225-5516

New York, Timothy Bishop, <tel:(202)%20225-3826>(202) 225-3826

North Carolina, Richard Hudson,<tel:(202)%20225-3715>(202) 225-3715

North Carolina, Virginia Foxx, <tel:(202)%20225-2071>(202) 225-2071

Northern Mariana Islands, Gregorio “Kilili” 
Sablan,<tel:(202)%20225-2646>(202) 225-2646

Ohio, Marcia Fudge, <tel:(202)%20225-7032>(202) 225-7032

Oregon, Suzanne Bonamici, <tel:(202)%20225-0855>(202) 225-0855

Pennsylvania, Glenn "G.T." Thompson, <tel:(202)%20225-5121>(202) 225-5121

Pennsylvania, Lou Barletta, <tel:(202)%20225-6511>(202) 225-6511

South Carolina, Joe Wilson, <tel:(202)%20225-2452>(202) 225-2452

South Carolina, Trey Gowdy, <tel:(202)%20225-6030>(202) 225-6030

Tennessee, Phil Roe, <tel:(202)%20225-6356>(202) 225-6356

Tennessee, Scott DesJarlais, <tel:(202)%20225-6831>(202) 225-6831

Texas, Kenny Marchant, <tel:(202)%20225-6605>(202) 225-6605

Texas, Rubén Hinojosa, <tel:(202)%20225-2531>(202) 225-2531

Virginia, Bobby Scott, <tel:(202)%20225-8351>(202) 225-8351

Wisconsin, Tom Petri, <tel:(202)%20225-2476>(202) 225-2476

Wisconsin, Mark Pocan, <tel:(202)%20225-2906>(202) 225-2906

Feel free to e-mail, fax, and tweet your 
Representatives as well, but this is a supplement 
to the calls, not a substitute. See below for a sample letter.

Thank you for taking just a few minutes to make 
these calls. Together, we can ensure that WIA 
will continue to help people with disabilities 
achieve the competitive integrated employment we strive for.



March XX, 2014

Dear Representative__________:

I am writing to express serious concerns with two 
specific provisions under debate as part of 
Workforce Investment Act (WIA) reauthorization 
legislation. I am opposed to the following two 
provisions, which will be extremely detrimental 
to individuals with disabilities who are eligible 
for the individualized services and supports 
provided by highly skilled rehabilitation 
counselors in the Vocational Rehabilitation program.

§  Section 511, related to employment of 
individuals with disabilities at a subminimum wage and

§  The proposed move of the Rehabilitation 
Services Administration (RSA) from the Department 
of Education (DOE) to the Department of Labor (DOL).

These proposals are steps in the wrong direction 
at a time when it is critical to support career 
development and self-sufficiency for individuals 
with disabilities. While these provisions 
originated in the Senate bill (S.1356), 
pre-conferencing is underway between the House 
and Senate Committee staff, and it is critical 
that the House stand firm in opposition to both of these provisions.

Section 511 will strengthen and give legitimacy 
to the flawed subminimum wage system and is based 
on the false premise that people with 
disabilities cannot be competitively employed. 
This policy proposal faces strong opposition from 
the community it is meant to serve. The language 
endorses the practice of using subminimum wage 
environments for training or employment, and does 
not meet the intended goal of reducing the number 
of young people tracked into subminimum wage work environments.

Individuals who are tracked into these 
environments remain there ninety-five percent of 
the time and are dependent on government 
subsidies and other state income supports for the rest of their lives.

The proposed move of RSA to DOL is entirely 
inconsistent with efforts to improve and increase 
services to young people transitioning from 
school to post–secondary educattion or careers. 
Efforts should be focused on increasing 
collaboration and partnerships in the DOE between 
RSA and the Office of Special Education Programs 
(OSEP), in order to improve transition services, 
as opposed to moving RSA to DOL where this focus 
would be lost. There is no data to indicate that 
moving the RSA from the DOE to the DOL would 
improve employment outcomes for individuals with 
disabilities, particularly those individuals with 
the most significant disabilities, including transition youth.

Since the 1992 Amendments to the Rehabilitation 
Act, State VR Agencies have focused on providing 
community based services and assuring that all 
individuals with disabilities determined eligible 
for VR Services have the opportunity to pursue 
competitive employment in an integrated setting. 
Opening the door to sheltered employment takes 
the VR Program and the people they serve 
backwards. It would undermine the forward 
progress and success that the program has 
achieved over the years in pursuing competitive, 
integrated employment for VR consumers.

There are far better ways to help ensure that 
individuals with disabilities can be productive 
without Section 511, and I believe strengthening 
VR within the DOE is the best approach to 
securing access to competitive employment 
opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

I urge you strike these two controversial 
provisions from the final WIA reauthorization package.


Your contact information.

Rose Sloan
Government Affairs Specialist
National Federation of the Blind

<mailto:Rsloan at nfb.org>Rsloan at nfb.org

Sent from my iPhone
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