Prioritize Integrated Employment – Phase Out Subminimum Wage and Sheltered Workshops
If you care about high expectations, integrated employment and valued adult lives, this is the time to ACT! On July 22nd, 2014 President Obama signed into law the Workforce and Innovation Act (WIOA). The enactment of this law established The Department of Labor Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (ACICIEID), charged with developing recommendations for consideration by the Secretary of Labor and Administration. These recommendations will include, among other issues, the future of sheltered workshops and subminimum wages, Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
What Can YOU Do?
- Send an email to the Advisory Committee at IntegratedCompetitiveEmployment@dol.gov.
- Please send your email no later than this FRIDAY, July 10th at NOON!!
- Include the following:
“I am _______________(your name) and I am (a parent, self advocate, researcher, provider, etc.) from __________________(your state of residence). I urge the Advisory Committee to recommend an increased focus on supporting people with significant disabilities to achieve integrated employment as a priority outcome for the use of public funds, and a measured phase-out of subminimum wages and sheltered workshops.”
Please include a sentence or two of why you feel this way, and feel free to use your own words.
TASH sees this as an opportunity for action and is calling for the rapid and immediate development of individualized and integrated employment for all people with disabilities and the measured and permanent replacement of segregated activity centers and sheltered workshops.
TASH has been calling for changes to the status quo on these employment issues for decades. With change comes fear and the justification of the status quo: “I am safe where I am, there is somewhere to go during the day, and I have support services.” TASH members urge the adoption of customized employment practices that change the status quo into success: “I am part of my community, I am contributing and doing something that I like to do, and I am supported and empowered.”
Employment is a defining aspect of adult life. It connects us to full participation and inclusion in our communities, fosters a sense of self-worth, opens opportunities for social growth and leads to greater independence. In order to make sure that everyone is integrated and valued in their work, including those with the most significant support needs, it is time to confront practices that segregate and confine people to the limitations imposed by sheltered work and subminimum wage.
For the first time in more than 70 years, there is a serious opportunity to revisit Section 14 of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which permits sub-minimum wages to be paid to workers with disabilities. The Advisory Committee will be announcing their recommendations on this issue on July 13th and 14th. PLEASE MAKE SURE THEY HEAR YOUR VOICE BY THIS FRIDAY (July 10).
Future generations of people with disabilities are depending on YOU for your action this week!!
To view TASH materials, information, and resolutions on integrated employment.