WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Kate McSweeny, Vice President Government Affairs and General Counsel, ACCSES, will represent ACCSES members at today's U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Public Briefing on Special Minimum Wage. Click here to view her testimony.
ACCSES is a national disability policy organization that represents community-based disability service providers across the country and the individuals with disabilities they serve. Guided by federal policy, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Olmstead Decision, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and other federal and state laws, ACCSES stands with over three million people with disabilities and over 1,200 community rehabilitation providers across the country in support of maintaining a full array of options and opportunities for all people with disabilities. ACCSES represents and stands with the individuals who would be affected if the right to be paid special minimum wage under 14(c) certificates were eliminated.
Section 14(c) special minimum wage certificates have made a significant difference for numerous people whose lives have been more fulfilled through the opportunities, friendships, and community that work provides. Working under a Section 14(c) certificate gives people the opportunity to develop job skills that they can expand on in other environments. These skills have allowed many people who started out working under a Section14(c) certificate to take on new challenges that were previously out of reach. Section 14(c) certificates allow people with the most significant disabilities the dignity of work and earning a paycheck.
There has been a good deal of misinformation spread about 14(c) certificates and the important role of community rehabilitation programs in providing and supporting employment opportunities for people with a wide range of disabilities. The network of CRPs across this country, staffed by people with substantial knowledge and extensive experience, are vital in providing and maintaining work opportunities for people with the most significant disabilities. CRPs not only provide training, work opportunities, transportation, and job supports, they also work with the people they serve to provide supported employment and job coaches in competitive jobs.
McSweeny stated, "If Section 14(c) special minimum wage certificates were to be eliminated, no one would benefit. … Many people who love their jobs and want to keep their jobs would be harmed. People working under a special minimum wage certificate already have the option of participating in day programming. They choose work, a choice that should be respected. Work is a vital part of their day and, indeed, their dignity."
ACCSES represents more than 1,200 disability service providers across the country. ACCSES works to promote and enhance community-based solutions that maximize person-centered employment and living opportunities for people with disabilities. Through collaboration with government and other stakeholders, ACCSES assures that services recognize and support the full potential of each person with a disability.