FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Federation of the Blind Applauds Senator Michael Bennett
Senator Supports Legislation to Integrate Workers with Disabilities
Baltimore, Maryland (September 22, 2015): The National Federation of the Blind applauds Senator Michael Bennett (D-CO) for cosponsoring the Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment (TIME) Act (S. 2001). Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) introduced this legislation to repeal Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, in order to incentivize the transitioning of workers with disabilities into integrated, meaningful employment, and to phase out the discriminatory practice of paying workers with disabilities as little as pennies per hour. Senator Bennett is the first cosponsor of Senator Ayotte’s legislation. Companion legislation has also been introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS) as H.R. 188 and has forty-four cosponsors.
Mark A. Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The National Federation of the Blind and our partners representing the fifty-five million Americans with disabilities know that low expectations, not disability, are the true barriers that prevent people with disabilities from living the lives we want. We applaud Senator Bennett for joining his colleague from across the aisle in recognizing that current segregated employment practices are based on over seventy-five 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 work in the same bipartisan spirit and support this legislation, thereby embracing a future in which the next generation of workers with disabilities, including my two young daughters, enter the workforce without the discriminatory presumptions that exist today, and in which these workers are able to achieve their full potential in the workplace and beyond.”