Baltimore, Maryland (February 27, 2013): The National Federation of the Blind, the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans, today applauded the introduction of the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013 (H.R. 831) by Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS). Congressman Harper, along with eleven original co-sponsors, introduced the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013 to repeal section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and to phase out the discriminatory practice of paying workers with disabilities pennies per hour.
Congressman Gregg Harper said: “Section 14(c) of the FLSA, enacted out of ignorance about the true capacity of people with disabilities, currently prevents over 300,000 people with disabilities from gaining access to the work and training environments that have been proven to be more cost effective and to produce more competitive integrated work outcomes. Subminimum-wage work is just an expression of low expectations that instills a false sense of incapacity in individuals, who could become competitively employed with the proper training and support.”
Dr. Marc Maurer, 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 fight every day to obtain the fundamental freedoms that nondisabled citizens take for granted. We applaud Congressman Harper for having the courage to confront over seventy years of entrenched but false thinking about the capacity of people with disabilities. We strongly urge his colleagues in both houses of the United States Congress to exhibit the same courage by recognizing our right to have the same workforce protections as every other American citizen.”
The National Federation of the Blind needs your support to ensure that blind children get an equal education, to connect blind veterans with the training and services they need, and to help seniors who are losing vision continue to live independent and fulfilling lives. To make a donation, please go to www.nfb.org.