[nfbwatlk] FW: [State-affiliate-leadership-list] Response to Focus Group Request from NIB for NFB Convention

Mike Freeman k7uij at panix.com
Fri Jun 20 17:42:51 UTC 2014

From: State-affiliate-leadership-list
[mailto:state-affiliate-leadership-list-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of
Riccobono, Mark via State-affiliate-leadership-list
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2014 7:51 AM
To: State Affiliate Leadership (state-affiliate-leadership-list at nfbnet.org)
Subject: [State-affiliate-leadership-list] Response to Focus Group Request
from NIB for NFB Convention


Dear Federation Leaders:


Yesterday, an announcement was circulated to NFB lists from Tiffany Jolliff,
research coordinator at National Industries for the Blind (NIB). This
announcement notes that "NIB is focused on its mission to create and sustain
employment opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired," and
that the researcher is "interested in conducting focus groups with people
between the ages of 45 and 64 who are blind" at our national convention. It
is important to note that the circulation of this request for participation
in our convention is not an endorsement of this activity. 



Federation leaders should remember that NIB still allows their associated
agencies to pay subminimum wages to their blind employees.  This is in
direct conflict with the policy set by our convention that calls for the
elimination of 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Federation has
declined recent offers from NIB to be a sponsor of the national convention
and we have said that we will not reconsider any offers of sponsorship until
NIB changes its own policy on 14 (c).  


Our advocacy efforts to improve the wages being paid to those employed under
NIB contracts has resulted in significant improvement for most, but not all.
We have no interest in doing anything to "create and sustain opportunities"
that advance subminimum wage employment. To that end, I encourage all
Federationists to keep this in mind when considering the message that has
unfortunately circulated throughout our listservs.





Mark A. Riccobono, M.S.ed

Executive Director, Jernigan Institute

National Federation of the Blind

200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place

Baltimore, Maryland 21230

Phone: (410) 659-9314 ext. 2357

Fax: (410) 659-5129

Email: mriccobono at nfb.org

Twitter: @Riccobono and @NFB_Voice

Web:  <http://www.nfb.org/> www.nfb.org


The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the
characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the
expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles
between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want;
blindness is not what holds you back.



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