[nfb-talk] My reasons for reconsideration of joining the NFB, please read.

Joshua Lester jlester8462 at students.pccua.edu
Sun Jul 15 14:00:16 CDT 2012

Glad to hear this!
Welcome to the NFB!
Another convert here!
Blessings, Joshua

On 7/15/12, Michael Capelle <michael.capelle at charter.net> wrote:
> Hello.
> This is going to be a long post, and a lot of heads will turn, I'm sure.
> For many years, a lot of people will know, that I was heavilly involved
> in the American Council of the Blind, (ACB). Well, this years convention
> definitely decided for me, read on, and you will find out why. Now,
> before I continue, I want everyone to remember, that I'm not trying to
> bash ACB, just speaking my opinion. First of all, the biggest complaint
> I had, was I felt the conference/convention was very disorganized. The
> roll call of states, seemed very disorganized, and honestly, the "fat"
> jokes were getting very old. Then, on monday, the door prize people were
> not even ready, to hand out door prizes. I just felt it was not good as
> in previous years. Now, on to the biggest complaint. as some of you
> know, we are in the process of passing a bill, for the subminimum wages.
> Basically, making it illegal to pay blind persons less money then their
> sighted colleagues. The following information, below, is taken from the
> publication. The NFB, (national Federation of the Blind) definitely
> supports this, and so do I, again, see below.
> Voice of the Nation's Blind
> National Federation of the Blind Logo
> Marc Maurer, President
> 200 East Wells Street
> at Jernigan Place
> Baltimore, MD 21230
> Phone 410 659 9314 Fax 410 685 5653
> www.nfb.org
> The Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2011
> H.R. 3086
> Disabled workers have been unfairly excluded from the federal minimum
> wage for 74 years, and today over 300,000 disabled workers are working
> for subminimum wages.
> Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) discriminates
> against people with disabilities. This section allows the Secretary of
> Labor to grant special wage certificates to employers, permitting them
> to pay their workers with disabilities less than the minimum wage, often
> in sheltered work environments. In some instances disabled workers are
> being paid pennies per hour.
> This discrimination is rooted in low expectations based on
> misconceptions about the capabilities of disabled people. The law
> falsely implies that people with disabilities cannot be productive
> employees, and subminimum wage employers prey on society’s misconception
> that disabled people are incapable of being competitively employed. In
> reality, when provided the proper rehabilitation training and tools,
> workers with disabilities can be productive and financially independent.
> Subminimum wage supports an outdated business model that fosters the
> underemployment of workers with disabilities. Section 14(c) was only to
> be used “to the extent necessary to prevent curtailment of
> opportunities” for employment of people with disabilities. Instead,
> subminimum-wage sheltered workshops have eroded into day custody
> centers, limiting opportunities for workers with disabilities ever to
> transition into integrated, competitive work. These institutions instill
> a philosophy of incapacity, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy
> resulting in long-term underemployment.
> The sheltered work system is a cash cow for the subminimum wage
> employer. Many employers insist that paying the minimum wage to disabled
> employees would result in lack of profitability and a reduction in their
> workforce, but most benefit from philanthropic donations, preferred
> status when bidding on federal contracts, and federal funding. Moreover,
> while their disabled workers receive subminimum wages that are
> subsidized by Social Security and public assistance, some workshop
> executives are earning salaries far above industry norms. The economics
> overwhelmingly favor subminimum wage employers, encouraging the
> perpetuation of subminimum wage employment and leaving workers with
> disabilities little to no choice for real employment.
> The Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2011:
> Discontinues the practice of issuing special wage certificates. The
> secretary of labor will no longer issue special wage certificates to new
> applicants.
> Phases out all remaining special wage certificates over a 3-year period.
> Entities currently holding special wage certificates will begin
> compensating their workers with disabilities at no less than the federal
> minimum wage, using the following schedule:
>> private for-profit entities’ certificates will be revoked after 1 year;
>> public or governmental entities’ certificates will be revoked after 2
> years; and
>> non-profit entities’ certificates will be revoked after 3 years.
> Repeals Section14(c) of the FLSA. Three years after the law is enacted,
> the practice of paying disabled workers subminimum wage will be
> officially abolished, and workers with disabilities will no longer be
> excluded from the workforce protection of a federal minimum wage.
> Cosponsor the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act
> H.R. 3086
> For more information contact:
> Anil Lewis, Director of Strategic Communications
> National Federation of the Blind
> Phone: (410) 659-9314, Extension 2374 E-mail: alewis at nfb.org
> To cosponsor the bill, contact:
> James Thomas in Congressman Cliff Stearns’s office
> Phone: (202) 225-5744 E-mail: james.thomas at mail.house.gov
> -OR-
> Tim Powers in Congressman Tim Bishop’s office
> Phone: (202) 225-3826 E-mail: tim.powers at mail.house.gov
> Voice of the Nation's Blind
> Now, when this was taken up at the ACB's convention, there was a "do not
> pass" recommendation. It went through. This made me very upset, and
> proves, that in my opinion, ACB does not care about the future of the
> BLIND. Therefore, I've decided to give the NFB another try, once I can
> afford to, I will pay my dues, to join NFB.
> Thanks for reading.
> Mike.
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