[Nmabs] Fwd: [nabs-l] Tomorrow is Fix WIA Wednesday! Sample Email to Send to Senators

Darian Smith dsmithnfb at gmail.com
Tue Jan 14 16:09:56 UTC 2014

Fellow Federationests,
 Please read the important message below and assist in this important  effort.

 Please forgive any re-post where this applies

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rose Sloan <rosesloan920 at gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2014 09:58:01 -0500
Subject: [nabs-l] Tomorrow is Fix WIA Wednesday! Sample Email to Send
to Senators
To: nabs-l at nfbnet.org


On Wednesday, January 15, 2014 we need to tell our Senators that it is time
to #FixWIA.  Below is the email I plan to send to my Senators.  I encourage
you to use this letter as a template (or create your own) to inform your
Senators about the problems with WIA.

Thanks for all of your work. Let’s get this done!



Dear Senator Durbin,

I am writing to voice my concerns about S. 1356, the reauthorization of the
Workforce Investment Act (WIA).  Although I know the reauthorization of WIA
is overdue, I just cannot support the current bill as it is written.

During the 1990s, the disability community fought really hard for language
that would *not *allow a vocational rehabilitation case to be closed by a
placement in a sheltered workshop. The current bill language of Section
511, a controversial section among the disability community, will allow
vocational rehabilitation counselors to successfully close cases by placing
their clients in subminimum-wage sheltered workshops.  Subminimum-wage
sheltered work does not come close to adequately training people with
disabilities for mainstream competitive employment.  In fact, research
shows that people with disabilities have to *unlearn *the habits taught in
sheltered workshops in order to get a mainstream job.  Ninety-five percent
of people with disabilities who enter sheltered workshops never obtain the
employment they are being “trained” for.  In other words, once a person
with disability is placed in a sheltered workshop, their full potential is
almost never reached.  They must remain on public assistance for the rest
of their lives.

I am also concerned with the bill language moving the Rehabilitation
Services Administration (RSA) from the Department of Education to the
Department of Labor. There is no research that shows this move will improve
the efficiency and outcomes of the RSA.  It is important to keep in mind
that everyone needs an education before he/she obtains a job.  For many,
this education comes in the form of college and/or graduate school.  For
people with severe disabilities, this might mean having access to quality
rehabilitation services to develop their unique skills and talents.  This
process is an educational process—RSA should stay in the Department of

Senator Durbin, I need your help.  Please consider offering an amendment
that will strike Section 511 of Title V of WIA, and remove the language
that transfers RSA from Education to Labor.

Thank you.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.  If you have any
questions or concerns, feel free to reach me at rsloan at nfb.org.


Rose Sloan
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Darian Smith

Text the word BLIND to 85944 to donate $10 to the NFB Imagination Fund
via your phone bill.

The time is now to eliminate Subminimum Wages for People with Disabilities


“We know not of our future, but we know of our past. A past that is
made up of our ancestor’s Dreams, their stories and hopes.
These sights once seen, sounds heard and emotions felt are now our
knowledge. The knowledge that guides us to this very moment…”
-Darian Smith

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