[nfbwatlk] NFBNet Master List Emails

Arielle Silverman arielle71 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 25 02:30:08 UTC 2015

Hi all. Just wanted to give a heads-up that when an email appears
coming from "NFBNet-Master-List", it automatically appears on all
NFBNet lists including this one. So there should be no need to forward
those emails to NFBWaTlk.
Best, Arielle

On 9/15/15, Marci Carpenter via nfbwatlk <nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org> wrote:
>> Begin forwarded message:
>> From: "Kuhnke, Kristian via Nfbnet-master-list"
>> <nfbnet-master-list at nfbnet.org>
>> Subject: [Nfbnet-master-list] Leading Organizations of Americans with
>> Disabilities Call for Reform of AbilityOne Program: Organizations Set
>> Forth Seven Reform Principles
>> Date: September 15, 2015 at 2:36:01 PM PDT
>> To: nfbnet-master-list at nfbnet.org
>> Reply-To: "Kuhnke, Kristian" <KKuhnke at nfb.org>
>> Chris Danielsen
>> National Federation of the Blind
>> (410) 659-9314, extension 2330
>> cdanielsen at nfb.org <mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org>
>> Bethany Alvaré
>> (202) 540-9020
>> balvare at tash.org <mailto:balvare at tash.org>
>> Leading Organizations of Americans with Disabilities Call for Reform of
>> AbilityOne Program
>> Organizations Set Forth Seven Reform Principles
>> Washington, DC (September 15, 2015): Seven leading organizations comprised
>> of Americans with disabilities announced today that they are calling for
>> reform of the AbilityOne Program and set forth seven principles for
>> overhaul of the program, which affects hundreds of thousands of American
>> workers with disabilities. The announcement was made by the National
>> Federation of the Blind (NFB), TASH, the National Council for Independent
>> Living (NCIL), the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN), the
>> Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE), the Autistic
>> Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), and the United Spinal Association. The seven
>> principles for reform put forward by the organizations are as follows:
>> 1.    Commitment to the expressed integration mandate set forth by the
>> Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Olmstead v. L.C.:
>> Segregation of people with disabilities in work sites, such as sheltered
>> workshops and enclaves, is inconsistent with Title II of the Americans
>> with Disabilities Act. People with disabilities must be supported to lead
>> fully integrated lives in their communities, including throughout their
>> workday.
>> 2.    Implementation and development of best practices for employment of
>> people with significant disabilities: People employed by contracts
>> negotiated through the AbilityOne procurement process must have their
>> employment goals supported by providers implementing recognized best
>> practices, such as Supported Employment and Customized Employment, that
>> result in good jobs in the community.
>> 3.    Elimination of conflicts of interest that contribute to
>> exploitation, fraud, and abuse: Conflicts of interest in AbilityOne
>> contract implementation are rampant, and must be identified and
>> prohibited. These include determination of employee eligibility by
>> community rehabilitation programs (CRPs) implementing contracts, as well
>> as the use of contract funds for lobbying and other purposes.
>> 4.    Payment of prevailing wages and the elimination of subminimum-wage
>> payments: Payment of subminimum wages to people with disabilities is
>> intolerable in the United States. People with disabilities should be paid
>> the prevailing wage for the task they are performing.
>> 5.    Ensuring financial and operational transparency and accountability:
>> AbilityOne contract use of funds must be transparent and readily available
>> (online) to the public at every level, including the purpose and amount of
>> funds used by the Central Nonprofit Agencies, executive compensation
>> packages of nonprofits involved in the program, worker wage ranges, and
>> purposes of funds used.
>> 6.    Relationship with employer: The ultimate objective of a
>> federally-sanctioned special procurement program should be to connect
>> employees with mainstream employers, as opposed to having people with
>> disabilities working for nonprofit entities under specialized, set-aside
>> contracts.
>> 7.    Prioritizing awarding of contracts available through the procurement
>> process to disability-owned businesses, including self-employed
>> individuals with disabilities: Rather than all contracts going to the
>> non-profit organizations currently involved in the program, individuals
>> with disabilities should be encouraged to compete for service contracts.
>> The AbilityOne Program must be brought up to contemporary standards of
>> practice for supporting people with disabilities to access competitive
>> integrated employment. When these reforms are adopted, an inspector
>> general should be appointed to provide rigorous oversight to ensure that
>> the days of exploitation and fraud are brought to an end.
>> Barb Trader, Executive Director of TASH, said: “The continued segregation
>> of people with disabilities in employment is unjust, and the payment of
>> subminimum wages is discriminatory and demeaning. Americans with
>> disabilities must be freed from the overwhelming control of the entities
>> that simultaneously determine their eligibility for services, administer
>> those services, and function as their employers. The concentration of
>> power in community rehabilitation programs and sheltered workshops is a
>> fundamental flaw in the AbilityOne Program. Any federally-sanctioned
>> program must be a positive force for workers with disabilities by
>> providing them freedom, self-determination, and real employment and career
>> development opportunities.”
>> Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind,
>> said: “The principles we are setting forth today reflect the hopes and
>> aspirations of all Americans with disabilities. Neither AbilityOne nor any
>> other program that purports to serve us can do so without reference to our
>> own determinations on how to live the lives we want. We urge all other
>> organizations of Americans with disabilities and like-minded service
>> providers to join us in calling for an end to discrimination and low
>> expectations, and to work with us for a future in which we, as Americans
>> with disabilities, have full control over our destinies.”
>> ###
>> About the National Federation of the Blind
>> 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.
>> About TASH
>> TASH is an international leader in disability advocacy. Founded in 1975,
>> TASH advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with significant
>> disabilities and support needs – those most vulnerable to segregation,
>> abuse, neglect and institutionalization. TASH works to advance inclusive
>> communities through research, education, and advocacy. The inclusive
>> practices TASH validates through research have been shown to improve
>> outcomes for all people. More information about TASH can be found at
>> www.tash.org <http://www.tash.org/>.
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