[nfb-talk] Fw: Contacting the ABC

Kenneth Chrane kenneth.chrane at verizon.net
Mon Mar 5 23:31:39 UTC 2012

Hi Ray, may be some body will broadcast the information on the air.

May be I will receive an answer from them.

Ken Chrane

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ray Foret Jr" <rforetjr at att.net>
To: "NFB Talk Mailing List" <nfb-talk at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Monday, March 05, 2012 10:11 AM
Subject: Re: [nfb-talk] Fw: Contacting the ABC

> The Australian Broadcasting company?  Did you not realize that this is 
> whom you were contacting?  I know this because in the box which designates 
> "Last name" they say, "sir name".  What carelessness.
> Sincerely,
> The Constantly Barefooted Ray!!!
> Now a very proud and happy Mac user!!!
> Skype name:
> barefootedray
> Facebook:
> facebook.com/ray.foretjr.1
> On Mar 5, 2012, at 2:18 AM, Kenneth Chrane wrote:
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Australian Broadcasting Corporation" 
>> <anonymous at your.abc.net.au>
>> To: <kenneth.chrane at verizon.net>
>> Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2012 10:00 PM
>> Subject: Contacting the ABC
>>> Dear Kenneth Chrane
>>> This email provides a copy of your comments recently submitted to the 
>>> ABC via the online email form located on this webpage :
>>> http://abc.net.au/contact.
>>> Yours sincerely,
>>> ABC Audience & Consumer Affairs
>>> **IMPORTANT NOTE: Please do not reply to this message.  You are welcome 
>>> to submit any further comments you may have using the form available 
>>> here - http://abc.net.au/contact **
>>> __________________________________
>>> First name: Kenneth
>>> Surname: Chrane
>>> Email: kenneth.chrane at verizon.net
>>> Location: O/S
>>> Response Required: true
>>> Program: News On The Hour
>>> Program Date: March 5, 2012
>>> ABC Service\Network: ABC News 24
>>> ABC Recipient: ABC News & Current Affairs
>>> Subject: Letter From President Marc Maurer:
>>> Your Comments:
>>> February 23, 2012
>>> Dear United States Representative:
>>> I am writing to you in support of H.R. 3086, the Fair Wages for Workers 
>>> with Disabilities Act of 2011.  If you are already one of the cosponsors 
>>> of this bill, I thank you.  If you have not signed on as a cosponsor, I 
>>> urge you to do so as quickly as you can.  I am also writing to you 
>>> representing disabled Americans who are affected by subminimum wage 
>>> payments who want this bill to pass.  Furthermore, I am writing to you 
>>> to sound the alarm against those who say that they know better what to 
>>> do for the disabled than disabled Americans themselves.  They will tell 
>>> you that disabled Americans cannot speak for themselves and that they 
>>> have taken on "this burden."  They are trying to deny us our own voice 
>>> in Congress and we ask you to listen to the people, not to the 
>>> self-appointed so-called spokesmen of the people.
>>> The National Federation of the Blind and the growing list of over forty 
>>> other organizations of disabled Americans that support this legislation 
>>> are well aware that those of you who are cosponsoring this legislation 
>>> or considering doing so are receiving considerable pressure from 
>>> representatives of sheltered workshops and others holding special wage 
>>> certificates that allow them to pay less than the federal minimum wage. 
>>> You are being told that the workers who receive subminimum wages in the 
>>> sheltered workshop system have nowhere else to go, and that their lives 
>>> would be destroyed by H.R. 3086.  Those of you from Missouri, in fact, 
>>> may have received a piece of correspondence that asks, "Where will 
>>> Sammy, Patti, and Becky go when you eliminate their jobs?"  This flyer 
>>> also contains quotes from parents, siblings, and caregivers of sheltered 
>>> workshop employees, wondering what H.R. 3086 will mean for their loved 
>>> ones.
>>> Whatever the motives of the people behind it, the correspondence is 
>>> based on outdated ideas about the capacity of workers with disabilities 
>>> and a misguided commitment to an antiquated model of service to such 
>>> workers. Rather than participating in a constructive dialogue about what 
>>> life will be like for workers with disabilities, once the subminimum 
>>> wage exemption is phased out in three years as required by H.R. 3086, 
>>> the workshops choose to circulate correspondence meant to pull on your 
>>> heartstrings, to evoke your pity, and to promote low expectations.
>>> United States Representative
>>> February 23, 2012
>>> Page two
>>> The argument of the sheltered workshops is that some people, 
>>> particularly those with severe developmental disabilities, are simply 
>>> unfit for competitive employment.
>>> This is simply wrong.  To continue this practice when proven employment 
>>> strategies exist is inexcusable.
>>> We are also told that these individuals must be given a choice.  We are 
>>> all for freedom of choice, but true freedom of choice can only come with 
>>> unbiased and accurate information.  Do Sammy, Patti, and Becky know that 
>>> people like them are in fact working in competitive jobs?  Do they know 
>>> that services like supported employment are already available to help 
>>> them acquire and keep such jobs?  Do their parents, guardians, and loved 
>>> ones know this?  My experience tells me that they do not. Rather, they 
>>> have far more likely been told by sheltered workshop staff-who all too 
>>> often share society's low expectations for disabled people and have an 
>>> obvious conflict of interest-that Sammy, Patti, and Becky will never 
>>> achieve competitive employment and that the sheltered workshop is the 
>>> best they can hope for.  In short, what they have been told is neither 
>>> accurate nor unbiased.
>>> Despite the manipulative tone of the correspondence, however, it is fair 
>>> enough to ask what will happen to Sammy, Patti, and Becky and others 
>>> like them if this bill passes.  I believe that the answer to this 
>>> question is limited only by the spirit, ambition, and imagination of 
>>> disabled workers themselves, and by our willingness as a society to work 
>>> hard to help them succeed in their goals.  I believe that disabled 
>>> workers can do far better than receiving pennies per hour.  Under this 
>>> bill, they will either earn real wages in the workshops that currently 
>>> employ them, or they will receive the training and support that they 
>>> need to obtain competitive employment somewhere else.  Imagine for a 
>>> moment that all of the government and philanthropic resources that are 
>>> currently supporting the sheltered workshop system were redirected to 
>>> finding real employment opportunities for people with disabilities.  If 
>>> they were, I suspect that solutions as yet undreamt of would emerge to 
>>> help such
>>> individuals succeed in competitive employment situations.
>>> The sheltered workshop industry has existed for over seventy years. 
>>> Many argue that it is an acceptable status quo, which must not be 
>>> changed.  We reject this formulation.  Even if you believe that those of 
>>> us advocating against subminimum wages do not have all the answers, this 
>>> is no excuse for allowing the system to continue.  The current practice 
>>> of paying subminimum wages is unfair, discriminatory, and immoral, and 
>>> no amount of hand-wringing about what may follow it can change that. 
>>> Please do not simply let inertia direct our course.  We are urging you 
>>> and other willing partners, including any from the sheltered workshop 
>>> industry, to work with us to find real solutions for people like Sammy, 
>>> Patti, and Becky, rather than shrugging your
>>> United States Representative
>>> February 23, 2012
>>> Page three
>>> shoulders and saying that the exploitation must continue because we as a 
>>> society will not expend the effort to come up with anything better.
>>> There was a time in our nation's history when African-Americans were 
>>> believed to have limited capacity and were fit only for slave labor on 
>>> plantations.  There was a time when women were thought capable only of 
>>> maintaining the family home, and thus were not even permitted to vote. 
>>> Fortunately we realized as a nation that it was bigotry and low 
>>> expectations that were defining the roles of African-Americans and women 
>>> rather than their true capabilities.  We realized, albeit belatedly, 
>>> that America would be a better nation if the true capacities of these 
>>> citizens were unleashed.  Americans with disabilities are now calling 
>>> upon our fellow citizens to realize that the soft bigotry of low 
>>> expectations is condemning workers with disabilities to near-slave 
>>> labor, and that the system that arises from these low expectations must 
>>> be abolished.
>>> H.R. 3086 allows for a grace period of three years before sheltered 
>>> workshops and other nonprofit employers currently holding special wage 
>>> certificates must begin to pay their workers at least the federal 
>>> minimum wage.  This is plenty of time for sheltered workshops to study 
>>> the business models of similar entities that are already paying their 
>>> employees competitive wages and make adjustments to their own policies 
>>> and practices.  Meanwhile, policy makers can redirect resources to 
>>> enhance programs like supported employment, and create new solutions, to 
>>> help workers with disabilities transition to real work for real wages.
>>> As for freedom of choice: I am a person with a disability.  I have been 
>>> blind all of my life.  I know the pain and despair that comes with low 
>>> expectations and prejudice.  Fortunately, I was given the opportunity to 
>>> make real choices about my life and career, and to experience the joy of 
>>> the accomplishments that can only come through full and equal 
>>> participation in society.  I want Sammy, Patti, and Becky to have the 
>>> choices that I had.  If workers with disabilities truly want to stay in 
>>> the sheltered workshop that currently employs them, or a facility like 
>>> it, then no one will prohibit them from doing so.  However, if H.R. 3086 
>>> is enacted, wherever they choose to work, they will receive real wages 
>>> that allow them to live fuller lives.  They will know the satisfaction 
>>> of receiving the equal pay for equal work that they deserve, in addition 
>>> to any satisfaction that they may receive from getting out of the house 
>>> and being among their friends.  They will no longer be dependent upon
> the
>>> resources of their loved ones or on public assistance in order to buy 
>>> the things they need.  They will have disposable income to spend in the 
>>> community, thereby contributing to our society and its economy.  They 
>>> will go from a subsistent existence to one in which they can enjoy 
>>> taking in a movie with their friends, an occasional restaurant meal, and 
>>> all of the other small pleasures of life that other American workers 
>>> take for granted.  They will become free people with real choices, not 
>>> virtual slaves with false ones.
>>> United States Representative
>>> February 23, 2012
>>> Page four
>>> On behalf of the National Federation of the Blind, the over forty other 
>>> organizations that support this bill, and the millions of disabled 
>>> people we represent, we urge you to join us in our effort to change the 
>>> paradigm of low expectations and kindly meant but devastating 
>>> exploitation that has too long dominated the lives of over three hundred 
>>> thousand Americans with disabilities.  We ask you to express the courage 
>>> to support H.R. 3086 and the creativity to seek solutions that allow 
>>> Americans with disabilities to become productive citizens.  I thank you 
>>> for your attention to this urgent matter.
>>> Sincerely,
>>> Marc Maurer, President
>>> -
>>> Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.
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>>> confidential and may contain legally privileged or copyright material. 
>>> It is intended only for the use of the addressee(s).  If you are not the 
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>>> resupplying any email and attachments.
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