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

Anjelina anjelinac26 at gmail.com
Sun Jul 15 14:06:27 CDT 2012

Welcome Michael.
-----Original Message----- 
From: Michael Capelle
Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2012 2:54 PM
To: nfb-talk at nfbnet.org
Subject: [nfb-talk] My reasons for reconsideration of joining the NFB,please 

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
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
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
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.

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