[Nfbmo] FW: [rehab] Pedro's Story: When Given the Chance, People with Disabilities Can Overcome Barriers to the AmericanDream, U.S. DOJ "The Justice Blog, " January 31 2014

Bryan Schulz b.schulz at sbcglobal.net
Sat Feb 1 03:00:15 UTC 2014


Missouri is even more unique than Rhode Island.
There is no ground swell to oppose zero income from the practice of Japanese 
inspection described in the movie, Days of Thunder that forces contractors 
out of business and/or to move back to their home state.
Bryan Schulz

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Shelia Wright" <sbwright95 at att.net>
To: <nfbmo at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Friday, January 31, 2014 7:57 PM
Subject: [Nfbmo] FW: [rehab] Pedro's Story: When Given the Chance,People 
with Disabilities Can Overcome Barriers to the AmericanDream, U.S. DOJ "The 
Justice Blog, " January 31 2014

> This is why we are opposed to subminimal wages. Pedro is not an exception.
> Rhode Island is not so very different from Missouri. We in the Federation
> have known many disabled persons who have been trapped by low expectations
> and lack of opportunity.
> HR 831 phases out section 14-C over a three year period. First it must 
> pass.
> Urge your congressmen and Senators to supportthe Fair Wages For Persons 
> With
> Disability and to remove Section 511 from the Reauthorization of WIA.
> Shelia
> -----Original Message-----
> From: rehab [mailto:rehab-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Nightingale, 
> Noel
> Sent: Friday, January 31, 2014 4:40 PM
> To: rehab at nfbnet.org
> Subject: [rehab] Pedro's Story: When Given the Chance, People with
> Disabilities Can Overcome Barriers to the American Dream, U.S. DOJ "The
> Justice Blog, " January 31 2014
> Link:
> http://blogs.justice.gov/main/archives/3545
> Text:
> Pedro's Story: When Given the Chance, People with Disabilities Can 
> Overcome
> Barriers to the American Dream January 31st, 2014 Posted by The Department
> Of Justice This post is courtesy of Eve Hill, Deputy Assistant Attorney
> General for Civil Rights
> Every day, countless Americans with disabilities are excluded from 
> accessing
> important ladders of opportunity.  The Americans with Disabilities Act 
> (ADA)
> is an important tool for challenging assumptions and discrimination that
> trap people with disabilities in poverty and segregation.  When given the
> chance, people with disabilities are establishing their rightful place in
> the greater American workforce and the middle class, and are showing that
> they, too, can achieve the American Dream.  Pedro is one such person.
> When Pedro graduated high school in 2010, at age 21, he found himself at
> home with no job prospects and no career direction.  A native Spanish
> speaker with intellectual disabilities, Pedro's education had not prepared
> him to enter the general workforce; instead, he was headed for a life of
> segregated employment and below-minimum wages.
> Pedro attended a Providence, R.I., high school where students with
> intellectual disabilities participated in an in-school "sheltered 
> workshop,"
> where there were no students without disabilities.  The students spent 
> their
> school days sorting, assembling and packaging items such as jewelry and
> pin-back buttons, earning between 50 cents and $2 per hour for their 
> labor.
> Rather than providing the education and services needed to help them
> transition into regular jobs, the school prepared students for segregated,
> below-minimum-wage work in adult sheltered workshops.  The U.S. Department
> of Justice's 2013 investigation of Rhode Island found that, indeed, the
> school-based workshop was a direct pipeline to a nearby adult workshop.
> Like many before him, Pedro began working at the adult workshop after high
> school.  Staff described Pedro as an excellent worker who stays on task 
> and
> performs well, but he was paid just 48 cents an hour.  And because people
> who enter this workshop often stay there for decades, and are rarely 
> offered
> help to move into community-oriented jobs, Pedro's career outlook was dim.
> That all changed in June 2013 when the department entered into an interim
> settlement agreement with the state of Rhode Island and the city of
> Providence, requiring the state and city to provide the employment 
> services
> necessary to help workers at the adult workshop and students at the
> school-based workshop move into integrated, competitive-wage jobs.  At the
> same time, the Providence Public School District closed the school-based
> workshop so students with disabilities can focus on education and career
> preparation.
> Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (the
> agency) announced that it has entered into a settlement agreement with the
> City of Providence, the Providence School Board and Pedro's former high
> school after the agency's investigation found violations of the Fair Labor
> Standards Act.  Under the agreement, students will receive back pay for 
> the
> work they did at the sheltered workshop.
> Pedro was interested in the restaurant industry, so in 2013 he joined a
> culinary arts training program and 12 weeks later, helped by federal and
> state services, Pedro began working in the kitchen at a restaurant in the
> community.  He has excelled and forged strong working relationships with
> other employees.  Pedro says that he loves his job.
> The owner of the company describes Pedro as the heart of the business. 
> "He
> has a great personality and loves working here," he says.  "But more than
> just a personality, he does a great job."
> In December 2013, just a few months after starting at the restaurant, 
> Pedro
> was Employee of the Month.   His manager said that Pedro was chosen for 
> the
> award because "he has changed the culture of the company by inspiring
> everyone around him to reach higher; he has led by example."  Pedro has
> become known for his positive work ethic and his commitment to teamwork.
> Pedro started his job with a  job coach, funded by the state and federal
> government, but because the restaurant position was such a good match for
> Pedro and natural supports developed so quickly, Pedro no longer needs
> coaching, and is now helping the coach train other new employees with
> disabilities.
> Pedro deeply values his new job, where he has the chance to work with 
> peers
> without disabilities, earn a competitive wage and employee benefits and
> enjoy the advantages of community employment.  His supervisor points out
> that the company, too, has experienced major benefits.  She describes the
> strong sense of pride in hiring Pedro, and giving him the opportunity to
> realize his capabilities and participate in the greater American 
> workforce:
> "It's a very fulfilling experience to see Pedro mainstream himself, to 
> show
> responsibility and to see him getting an honest wage for his work."
> Pedro's life is on a new path - and there's no looking back.
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