National Federation of the Blind Applauds the Introduction of the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act in the House
Baltimore, Maryland (April 6, 2021): The National Federation of the Blind, the transformative advocacy organization of blind Americans, applauds the introduction of the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act (H.R. 2373) in the United States House of Representatives by Education and Labor Committee Chair Bobby Scott (D-VA-3) and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5). This legislation gradually eliminates the payment of subminimum wages to people with disabilities over a four-year period and prohibits the issuance of new special wage certificates under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The legislation also incentivizes employers to transition away from a segregated workplace model for people with disabilities and toward competitive integrated employment.
“It is long past time for Congress to phase out the subminimum wage for workers with disabilities and expand access to fulfilling employment and economic self-sufficiency,” said Chairman Scott. “By fostering collaboration between employers and services providers, this bipartisan legislation makes clear that it is not only possible, but beneficial to invest in fully integrated and competitive jobs for people with disabilities. We must take this next step to ensure that every worker can succeed in the workplace and earn a fair wage.”
“Disability employment is the next policy frontier to empower people with disabilities to live full and independent lives,” said Ranking Member Rodgers. “A job is so much more than just a paycheck, it’s what gives us dignity, purpose, and the opportunity for a better life. I look forward to continuing to work in a bipartisan fashion to ensure more people – who are ready, willing, and able to work – find employment.”
Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The National Federation of the Blind and our partners representing the 55 million Americans with disabilities seek only the kind of meaningful, remunerative work that other Americans take for granted. We applaud Chairman Scott for rejecting over eighty years of entrenched but false thinking about the capacity of people with disabilities. We strongly urge his colleagues in both chambers of the United States Congress to transition from an ineffective employment model to a policy that recognizes the individuality, interests, and skills of workers with disabilities and allows them to live the lives they want.”