Release Date: 
Monday, July 25, 2011
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

Cross-Disability Groups to Join
National Federation of the Blind Protests

Groups Urge End to Subminimum Wages for Disabled Workers

Baltimore, Maryland (July 25, 2011): The Center for Self-Determination, Disability Rights Advocates, National Down Syndrome Congress, National Down Syndrome Society, National Fragile X Foundation, and TASH will join the National Federation of the Blind in conducting informational protests on Tuesday, July 26, the twenty-first anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The informational protests will focus on educating members of the public about pending legislation that reauthorizes the payment of subminimum wages to workers with disabilities.  The groups will conduct the protests at the district offices of members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which is considering the legislation.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “We are extremely pleased that these organizations are joining us to advocate for equal pay for equal work and an end to the outrageous practice of paying subminimum wages to workers with disabilities.  We hope that other members of the disability rights community will join us in speaking out against this unfair, discriminatory, and immoral practice and opposing any legislation that authorizes and perpetuates it.”

Serena Lowe, executive director of Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination, said: “We are pleased and proud to join the National Federation of the Blind in speaking out against the continuation of federal policies that allow for the exploitation of workers with disabilities through the payment of subminimum wages.  Citizens with disabilities deserve to be paid the same as their non-disabled peers for their contributions to the workforce.  We hope Congress will provide the courageous leadership necessary to fight for true equality for all Americans with disabilities.”